To make room for the planned extension of the 7 train, the Port Authority will evict the city's largest homeless drop-in center at the end of March, according to the Daily News. The Open Door shelter — which every day provides meals and showers to some 200 homeless men and women — would have closed sooner, but the city was able to convince the transit agency to delay a part of the line extension project to keep shelter visitors off the streets during the winter. Though the Open Door shelter doesn't have beds, an average of 94 people slept there per night in September. One of the regulars, 63-year-old Lee Parker, told the tabloid he has slept in a chair at the shelter each night for the past two months. "It's better than sleeping out on the street," he said. "It's safe and warm."
To compensate for the closure of the Open Door shelter, the city is hoping to use $2 million in stimulus funds to pay for the installation of beds at nearby houses of worship — but critics doubt that will make up for the loss of the facility. "With all-time record homelessness, this is no time for the Bloomberg administration to close the city's largest drop-in center for homeless people," said Patrick Markee, a policy analyst for the Coalition for the Homeless. When finished, the 7 train will extend to 34th Street and 11th Avenue to accommodate the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.