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Manager Of Manhattan Hostel Says He Installed Ear-Splitting Alarm To Keep Homeless Away

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Residents near an Amsterdam Avenue hostel say they haven't been able to get any sleep lately.

An alarm keeps blaring at all hours of the night.

That alarm goes off whenever someone steps onto the porch near the entrance. CBS2's Alice Gainer was able to speak with the manager on Tuesday about it. He said he installed it as a last resort to try and deter people from sleeping and hanging out there.

The alarm is loud, like ear-splitting loud.

"It would happen at like 1 a.m., 3 a.m. In fact, Sunday night it actually woke me up at 3 a.m.," neighbor Thomas Moser said.

As Gainer spoke with Moser, the alarm went off again.

"Whenever I'm in online class, like if I'm talking and the alarm ends up going off, my classmates will end up hearing it," Moser said.


There have been a handful of 311 complaints about a chronic alarm at Hi New York City Hostel, a landmark building on Amsterdam between 103rd and 104th streets.

The manager spoke to CBS2, but did not want to show his face on camera.

"The biggest problem is the homeless problem here, in particular, kept using that foyer up there for a bathroom, to sleep up there. I was finding hypodermic needles. I was finding condoms. I was finding a lot of disgusting things," the manager said.

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He said the hostel was closed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and neighbors complained to him about some of the homeless hanging out there.

As Gainer spoke with him, he pointed out one of the men on the steps of the hostel, who normally stays on the porch area, and alleges he can get violent.

So, the manager said he came up with the alarm and had it installed a few weeks ago.

"Every time I call the police they come and say there's nothing they can do. So, I'm at a Catch-22 here of what can I do? I don't want to upset the neighbors," he said.

So now, come Wednesday morning he says the alarm will be dismantled.

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