Man got trapped in an elevator of a homeless shelter for four days: Report

  • A man at an NYC homeless shelter was trapped in an elevator for up to four days, the New York Post reports.
  • Residents have complained about inadequate and dangerous facilities at the shelter.
  • The home is one of 24 run by HELP USA, a nonprofit chaired by Andrew Cuomo’s sister Maria Cuomo Cole.

According to reporting in the New York Post, one man living at a New York City homeless shelter where residents have raised red flags about adequate facilities became trapped in an elevator there for multiple days. 

The shelter, HELP Meyer Mental Health + Shelter, located on Wards Island, is a network of 24 in New York City, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas run by HELP USA, a nonprofit chaired by Maria Cuomo Cole the sister of ex-Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo.

According to the FDNY, the fire department rescued the resident last Sunday at 10 a.m., and he was taken to the hospital in a serious but not life-threatening condition.

Sources told the New York Post that the delay may have been as long as four days and that the resident became severely dehydrated. The FDNY said the man spent “some time” waiting for help to arrive.

HELP USA did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Residents at HELP Meyer told the New York Post that elevators in the building, where the shelter occupies floors six through eight, are consistently delayed, and outages have caused problems and pose risks for residents who, in many cases, are unable to use the stairs.

According to the comptroller, residents have spoken out before about the unsafe living conditions at the Manhattan shelter run by HELP USA, which has a five-year, $63.7 million contract with New York City’s Department of Homeless Services that runs through 2023¬†data.

This August, Curbed published an investigation detailing the lack of air ventilation within HELP Meyer, critical during New York’s hot summers. Something made all the more important with the outbreak of COVID-19.

In 2019, The City published a report detailing frigid temperatures at HELP Meyer and building code violations at three other HELP facilities located on Wards Island.

And in 2016, the New York Daily News reported on violence occurring in another HELP shelter in Brownsville, Brooklyn, included domestic abuse cases.

According to the New York Post, HELP said that responsibility for elevator maintenance and emergency calls lies with the New York State Office of Mental Health, which leases the space.

According to the state agency, it was “not advised that the maintenance company was servicing the elevator or taking it off-line on the date in question.”

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