Hours after the NYC Department of Homeless Services announced that it would no longer be converting a Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth, Queens into a 110-bed homeless shelter for families, local residents were fuming over DHS's decision to rent 30 rooms in the hotel to house employed homeless men. At a protest in front of the hotel on Monday night, many saw a bait-and-switch on the part of the city, which cited "local opposition" in its decision to scrap the shelter, yet immediately moved 30 men into the hotel.

"We continue to stand outside this building until we get it the way we want it, because Mayor de Blasio, day and day out, is sending messages trying to make himself look good, and us to look bad," said State Senate candidate Michael Conigliaro to the crowd of more than 100 keyed-up protesters. Last month, City Hall released a video criticizing the Maspeth protesters for exporting their rallies to other hotels that had been converted to homeless shelters. Conigliaro continued, "I want to make sure that that man knows we're going to be here every night, because he has no right to tell us what's going to happen."

While hotel guests—it was unclear if any were the recently relocated men—milled by the windows of the Holiday Inn, peering down on the activity below, Maspeth residents continued their now-nightly protest outside the hotel, banging pots, blowing whistles and chanting for the removal and jailing of the sitting mayor.

"The shelter doesn't have kitchens for the men, it doesn't have the support they need. It's just a warehouse for them now, and that's what we're protesting," said Mark Perkowski, a 23-year-old lifelong Maspeth resident who attended the rally wearing a red 'Make America Great Again' hat. "I'm not opposed to a homeless shelter if the city was straightforward with us, but we haven't been able to trust them one bit during this entire process."

The handful of police officers on the scene chatted and shook hands with protesters, whom they prevented from entering the hotel or even walking up its driveway. Calling into his superior, one lieutenant noted that while the protest "was a bit bigger than normal," it was nothing to worry about. The crowd marched in circles in the closed-off street in front of the hotel, alternating between chants "Dump the Dope from Park Slope" and "Maspeth's Gonna Win."

"For me, I want these people taken care of, not taken advantage of," said Democratic candidate for State Assembly Brian Barnwell, who rode the tide of ardent opposition to the shelter to a shocking win in the September primary. "But when you move in just 30 people, it makes you wonder who they are? They could be sex offenders. The city's done that before—moved in sex offenders to hotels they've rented out."

In the nearby Pan-Am Hotel on Queens Boulevard, at least two sex offenders were in residence as of this past June.

While protesters like Barnwell spoke of safety concerns for the neighborhood, others had more practical or financial concerns about turning the hotel into a type of shelter.

"This shelter is not near any buses, anywhere any of these residents could walk to," said Patricia Farrell, a longtime Maspeth resident. "I think the mayor should do a better job of converting old buildings into real homes. Where are these people to go during the day? There's nothing around here."

Ben, who declined to give his last name, has lived in nearby Woodside since 1961. He told Gothamist he believes that instead of handing out lucrative contracts to hotel owners to take on shelter residents, the city should be investing in housing vouchers.

"Somebody is making tons of money off of this deal. People ask me, 'What do you do for the homeless?’ Well, I pay my taxes," he said. "I work, I break my ass and I pay my taxes. What they do with my money, these contracts come out to $4,000 a month per person. You couldn't find an apartment for them to live for cheaper? I'd rent them my upstairs apartment! I'd go live in the Hamptons on that money." (DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the nightly per-room cost of housing 30 men at the Holiday Inn Express.)

Multiple signs at the protest bemoaned the lack of media coverage for the protests, which took place only feet away from parked news vans from each of the city’s major local news networks.

Despite the apparent media presence, protestors maintained that the media and the de Blasio administration were in cahoots about the shelter plan.

One older individual approached for an interview demurred at the prospect of speaking with Gothamist.

"I watched the debate last night," he said. "To me, the media is all evil."