Comm. Board 4 to Mayor Giuliani

CITY OF NEW YORK
MANHATTAN COMMUNITY BOARD NO.4
330 WEST 42ND STREET
NEW YORK, N.Y. 10036

November 6, 1997

Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Re: HS Systems, 320 West 45th Street

Dear Mayor Giuliani:

HS Systems has for many years caused great distress to the residents of West 45th Street. HS Clients are not permitted to enter the facility at the front of the building on West 44th Street, rather they enter from the back. They are all asked to arrive at the same time, causing great congestion on West 45th Street. Crowds line up as early as 6:30 A.M. Many are on crutches and in wheelchairs. Anywhere from seven or eight to twenty cars are lined up on 45th Street where all parking is prohibited. People eat take out food and discard the containers and garbage on the sidewalk. Because of the lack of facilities, children urinate on the sidewalk and against buildings. The noise, litter and lack of supervision on the street causes chaos in the neighborhood. There has been no sustained attempt by HS Systems to control the crowd or ameliorate the garbage accumulation and noise.

As a result of poor lighting and neglect the facility and the sidewalk around it have become a garbage dump and haven for drug users when the clinic is not open. It has also been brought to our attention that HS Systems possesses a temporary Certificate of Occupancy which expired in July 1994. Its occupancy appears to be patently illegal.

We have attempted on numerous occasions to engage Ms. Yvonne M. Jones, the President of HS Systems, in a dialogue to address these concerns with limited success.

We have always known about the external conditions caused by HS Systems, but were not aware of the abysmal performance inside of the clinic until reading the article in the New York Times, October 13, 1997, a copy of which is enclosed for your review. We are appalled not only at the inhumane conditions that people must endure to receive services, but also at the enormous cost of a service ($6 million) that could easily be performed at our City hospitals.

Medical oversight of HS Systems appears to be minimal. The New York Times article states that HS Systems is being sued by the relative of a woman who died while at her work fare job — after being certified as employable at HS Systems.

For several years the City has been unresponsive to Community Board No.4 letters asking that this facility be moved from a residential street. Its only response has been to renew the contract with HS Systems apparently because City officials remain convinced by Mrs. Jones that it is a good facility. The City feels this kind of operation is cost effective as HS Systems sees up to 750 people a day and has a staff of 15 doctors.

Again, HS Systems’ impact on the neighborhood is compellingly adverse. It simply does not belong on a residential block with over 2000 people living there. The same services could be performed through the Health and Hospital Corporation, especially since all the clients are receiving Medicaid.

We urge the City to cancel its contract with HS Systems.

Pamela Frederick
Chair, Community Board No.4

Mary Dorman, Tim Gay
Co-Chairs, Quality-of-Life Committee

Katharine Roberts
Chair, Human Services Committee

cc:
Hon. Rudy Washington, Deputy Mayor for Community Development and Business Services

Hon. Ruth Messinger, Borough President
Hon. Jerrold Nadler, United States Representative
Hon. Catherine Abate, State Senator
Hon. Richard Gottfried, State Assemblymember
Hon. Tom Duane, City Councilmember
Deputy Inspector Bruce Smolka, Midtown North Precinct
Wanda Linn, Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit
Adrianne Leaf, NYC Office of Employment Services
Myrna Payne, NYC Human Resources Administration
Yvonne Jones, HS Systems
John Fisher, West 45th Street Block Association