Death at NYC Shelter Being Investigated as Homicide: NYPD

Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a 56-year-old man who was found with neck injuries in a disheveled room at a Manhattan homeless shelter, authorities said.

The man was found dead at the Bellevue Men's Shelter on East 30th Street at about 8:30 a.m. Friday, according to the NYPD. 

The room was in disarray as though a struggle had taken place, authorities said. 

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. A medical examiner will determine how the man died.

The city Department of Homeless Services said in a statement that its thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim and that more details will be released after the NYPD completes its investigation. 

"The city is committed to improving shelter safety, which is why we have the NYPD doing a complete review and training DHS peace officers who provide security," the agency said in a statement.

The agency said it was currently working to upgrade security at shelters across the city.

Currently, there are 30 DHS guards and 120 contractors assigned to the Bellevue Shelter. Five DHS guards were at the shelter at the time the body was found, along with another 18 contracted security guards. There was a total of 24 security staff working Friday morning. 

Still, some shelter residents say they feel unsafe.

"I sleep with one eye open," said Bellevue resident Anibal Gomez. "People steal, they knock on door to see if you've got any supplies or phone."

Violence at homeless shelters is a big enough concern that some homeless people who sleep on the streets cite it as a reason they refuse to go indoors. At the Bellevue shelter alone, two felonies were committed so far this year. 

"This is exactly the reason why we are working with the police department, and the police department is conducting a review of the security and safety needs of the shelter system," said Steven Banks, commissioner of human resources and social services.

The medical examiner will determine a cause of death. 

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