Residents of the Queens borough of New York City gathered outside the Pan American Hotel Aug. 12, 2014, to protest the city’s decision to use the facility as the Boulevard Shelter, a shelter for homeless and displaced families. 
CBS New York screenshot

A New York City family was moved from a shelter in the Elmhurst section of the borough of Queens after their child was reportedly spit on, called a "n—ger" and taunted for living in a homeless facility.

According to DNAinfo New York, the child, whose name was withheld by the news site, was inside a locker room at Intermediate School 5—a middle school—last month when neighborhood children began calling him "dirty kid from the Boulevard," a reference to the Boulevard Shelter, where the child and his family stayed. During the same incident, the boy was reportedly spat on and called a "n—ger."

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The boy didn't tell his family, but, DNAinfo reports, his friends encouraged him to fight back. The next day, he confronted one of the students who attacked him. The confrontation reportedly started a beef between neighborhood kids and the kids who lived in the shelter, which led to a group fight outside a local McDonald's earlier this month.

On Dec. 22, officials were warned that some of the neighborhood kids had guns and were threatening to shoot kids from the shelter, DNAinfo reports.

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"We take the safety of our clients very seriously," a city Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman told the news site. "We have taken swift measures to ensure the safety of this child, his family, and the residents of that shelter and community."

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DNAinfo notes that DHS relocated the child and his family to another shelter and that the New York City Police Department is investigating the incident.

Read more at DNAinfo New York.