Watch CBS News

Residents demand answers from NYC on why elevator in Third Street Men's Shelter is still out of commission

Excusive: Broken elevator causing headaches at Lower Manhattan men's shelter
Excusive: Broken elevator causing headaches at Lower Manhattan men's shelter 02:10

NEW YORK -- After CBS2 received a call about the broken elevator at a shelter in Lower Manhattan, reporter Jenna DeAngelis went to check out the issue.

She spoke exclusively Wednesday to concerned residents who want answers from the city.

Video of water flooding a stairwell at the Third Street Men's Shelter was taken in mid-July. Since, residents say the only accessible elevator in the six-story building hasn't been working.

"I'm asthmatic and getting to the sixth floor is a problem," one resident said.

FLASHBACKElevator Outage In Mount Vernon Building Has Left Some Seniors Trapped In Their Homes For 5 Weeks

The men didn't want to be on camera as they shared their concerns.

"It's about the elderly residents. You got people with walkers and stuff like that and we have to carry ... we have to help them carry their walkers up and also carry them up the stairs," one said.

"It seems the elevators gonna be out of service for five months they say," another added.

They told DeAngelis staff gave them that timeline. A sign inside says it "will be out of service until further notice."

Those she spoke with sleep on the sixth floor say it's a long walk up and down, especially in the heat.

"There's no AC in there. They just give us fans and say that's the best we can do. You have people who can have heat stroke at any time," another man said.

Residents said there are two elevators in the building, but claim one is always out of service. So now, both are down.

"I was calling 311 nonstop. The elevators are constantly out of order," one of the men said.

The shelter is run by nonprofit Project Renewal, which said in a statement it is a city-owned building and the organization is working with the city to ensure repairs are made as quickly as possible.

As one man explains, he doesn't want to be here. He has a job and is trying to get out.

"I have a voucher. It's hard to find an apartment that will take my voucher," he said, adding when asked what his message is to the city, "We need help. We need more help than that's been given to the homeless population.

Residents also told CBS2 signs were posted that said repairs wouldn't be made for four to five months, but those have since been replaced.

Because the shelter claims the building is owned by the city, we reached out to the mayor's office, which said it is looking into our inquiry.

The Department of Social Services said in a statement Thursday, "Protecting the health and safety of our clients is our top priority at all times. Our dedicated staff work closely with clients to ensure that their concerns are addressed, and we are providing requisite supports and making accommodations when necessary. To that end, we are committed to making sure that we preserve stability for our clients, and they continue to receive the services and supports they need and deserve as they get back on their feet."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.