A protest of the opening of a men’s homeless shelter was scheduled to take place today. Flyers that are posted in some areas of the Bronx state, “Protect you neighborhood and join the rally to protest the men’s shelter on 2008 Weschester Ave.”
New Yorkers around the city in various neighborhoods are protesting the opening of shelters in their neighborhoods. Granted, the conditions of a lot of shelters, despite the hefty budgets and price tags that are attached to them, are filthy, violent, and unsafe. New Yorkers, many of whom express empathy for those who are experiencing homelessness, don’t want the unsafe and chaotic conditions of the shelter to spill out into their neighborhoods.
While unrolling plans to open new shelters, the city hasn’t effectively addressed the improvement of the horrid conditions and ridiculously stifling protocols that exists within the shelter system. I can tell you firsthand that having more “security” at shelters does not, ironically, make them safer. Who is coming up with a comprehensive plan to make the system more efficient and safer?
The City has invested in a widespread marketing campaign, not imploring people not to use drugs, period; but to advertise that people should do drugs “safely.”
Last week, I got on a train that was wallpapered with advertisements in English and Spanish, bearing the NYC logo, that told people: “Every 6 hours a New Yorker dies from an overdose. Carry naloxone. Save a life.” “Avoid Mixing drugs.” “Avoid using alone. If you do, have someone check on you.” “Using cocaine tonight?…Safety Tips: Use with others. Carry naloxone/narcan.”
These ads clearly don’t scream a no tolerance drug-use message, or even a don’t do drugs directive. The ads seem more like an advertisement for naloxone, and permissive illegal drug use.
Can you imagine being a young child reading these befuddling messages on your daily commute? I, like many other NYC born and raised children, enhanced my reading skills daily by reading aloud posted advertisements to my parents during commutes. Can you imagine what kind of messages these ads are implanting in young minds and psyches? SMH!
According to NYC’s website the marketing campaign has a $730,000 price tag. The website also states: “The campaign will run citywide on subways, bus shelters, billboards, LinkNYC kiosks, online in local businesses and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.”