Thursday, August 16, 2012

Recommended Reading

A reader sent me the link to a recent article by James Panero, who last year wrote a piece for the New York Daily News that focused on St. Louis Hall on West 94th Street, a supportive housing facility operated by T. Eric Galloway's Lantern Organization: "'Supportive housing' doesn't help anyone." Panero's latest article, which appeared in City Journal, explores the struggle between gentrification and the social services empire: "The unending battle for the Upper West Side." Much of the article chronicles the history of the Upper West Side, and the parallels with our own Hudson are hard to miss. Of special interest, however, is the discussion, toward the end, of the Lantern Organization and its activities in this Manhattan neighborhood.

Full Disclosure: For my two decades in New York City, I lived on the Upper West Side.


  1. Thanks, Carole, for your wonderful reporting on this story. And the comments from readers have been spectacular. In my career as a journalist (long-long-long career!) I've touched down on this subject (and it's relatives, poverty and crime) a few times, in a few different places -- just enough to know there is a wide body of knowledge out there. I would like to think that we are at a point in this town's civic and cultural evolution where we have the wherewithal to actually study a problem, including this one, and would look outside our community for answers.

    Thank you again -- and thank you to the commenters -- for helping us do that.

    --peter meyer

  2. I'm glad to see that both Panero and 'City Journal' are back in our good graces.

    Thanks for the links.

  3. Very interesting for me because before Hudson I lived on W93rd (between West End & Riverside).

  4. The UWS has been saturated since the 70s with homeless mentally ill due to deinstutionalization of the state psychiatric centers; an explosion in homeless people after landmark legislation in the late 70s under Gov. Carey which gave the right to shelter to anyone seeking shelter in New York; homeless people with AIDS due to the epidemic starting in the mid-80s; and Dinkins looking to provide apartments for homeless families and not considering that thousands of poor people all over New York, whether homeless or not, were about to take him up on his offer. There were thousands of SRO units on the UWS that were taken over by nonprofits beginning in the 70s and turned into homeless housing, making homeless those who had lived in those apartments. I looked at St. Louis Hall in the 90s and walked away because (1) the neighborhood opposition to more homeless housing was strong and I had good relations with them that I did not want to harm; (2) the building was fully occupied; (3) we didn't like the building. The organization I was with only housed formerly homeless seniors and we had a building at 93rd and B'way which enjoyed full community support but the UWS folks had had enough and we were not going to push the issue. The fact that Lantern pushed the issue later and then mixed it up with tenants only adds to my discomfort with them as an organization. If Lantern was making tenant life miserable in hopes they would leave then they have no integrity as a provider in my opinion. They knew going in that the place was occupied. I can only hope that the tenants of St. Louis Hall took Lantern to Housing Court, it's own special hell, and made the organization as miserable as only Housing Court can make a landlord.

  5. Great reporting Carole. It's not coincidental that Eric Galloway has chosen each of his locations to develop housing for the homeless, in areas that have seen great economic investment and development in the City of Hudson. What could be better for him than being able to not only profit off of grants and housing for the poor, but to give us a double whammy by secondarily being able to profit from purchasing the real estate in the neighborhoods he's just devalued. Your link to the Daily News and City Journal clearly exposes his Company's history of profiting off the poor, while providing them with horrific conditions in which to live. What he's done in NYC seems uncomfortably close to what is being repeated in Hudson. I'm very proud of all of our Citizens who have come to the City and County meetings when his proposals are coming up for a vote. We need to continue to unite to block his efforts.

    Cheryl Stuart

  6. It won't be easy to get Galvan out. It's well entrenched. One would hope for smaller, benevolent developers, or continuing as we have done for the last 20 years - individuals with vision.