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City Approves $24M Contract for Westway Shelter in East Elmhurst

By Katie Honan | December 28, 2015 5:13pm
 The Westway Hotel shelter opened to more than 100 families in July 2014. 
The Westway Hotel shelter opened to more than 100 families in July 2014. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

EAST ELMHURST — The city approved a nearly $24 million permanent contract for the Westway shelter on Astoria Boulevard earlier this month, as the Pan Am shelter's contract is still in limbo, officials said.

The city approved the $23,918,936 permanent contract with Women In Need, Inc., on Dec. 16, according to the Department of Homeless Services. The contract expires in June 2019, records show. 

The city has operated a family shelter at the former Westway Motor Inn, on Astoria Boulevard, since July 2014, officials said. The former hotel has been used by DHS in various capacities since 2006 and currently houses more than 100 families. 

It opened weeks after the Boulevard Family Shelter opened at the former Pan Am hotel in Elmhurst.

Both facilities have drawn criticism and protests from local elected officials and neighbors who said the city didn't give enough prior notice before opening them.

The Pan Am shelter's contract has hit bumps since opening in 2014.

Its operator, Samaritan Village, submitted a request for a permanent contract in August, for the third time. Comptroller Scott Stringer denied it, noting safety issues within the shelter. Its operator hasn't submitted a new application since then, a spokesman for the comptroller's office said.