Amazon recently announced that they will be opening its second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.
Citing increasing homelessness in Seattle, the location of Amazon’s original headquarters, economists warn that the presence of Amazon’s headquarters in New York City can exacerbate New York City’s already troublesome homeless problem.
According to Business Insider, “A Zillow senior economist recently found that Amazon’s HQ2 could introduce 830 new homeless residents to New York City on an annual basis.”
Business Insider also opines that, “In neighborhoods that are already experiencing rising rents and crowded public transit, [the Amazon HQ2 opening] could give way to further issues of congestion and affordability.”
New York City’s weekend downpour was reportedly the catalyst for the emergence of a Times Square homeless encampment. According to the New York Post, “More than a half-dozen homeless people hung up their wet clothing to dry on a metal rail of the scaffolding that surrounds 1441 Broadway while they huddled underneath some blankets in a series of ‘rooms’ built from cardboard boxes.”
The news sources reports that the homeless encampment drew stares from tourists who noted that New York City’s homeless problem seems to be getting increasingly worse.
The New York Police Department reportedly took apart the homeless encampment the same day it was erected.
With the emergence of the season of harsh weather in New York City, the already burdensome condition of homelessness is about to be even more hard on those who have no stable place to live. Please do what you can to help alleviate the burdens of those who may be less fortunate.
Lots of Love,
-The Homeless New Yorker
This week, the City of San Francisco voted to implement a homeless tax that will be levied on successful technology companies that are headquartered in the city.
Reportedly, the tax on the tech companies’ revenue will be 0.5% for companies that have an annual revenue of over $50 million.
Vice News states: “At the heart of the issue is corporate responsibility- should technology companies be held accountable for the widening inequality created, as many claim, by their presence? The Bay Area’s high concentration of billionaires starkly contrasts its population of 28,240 reported homeless citizens, a situation the United Nations called ‘cruel’ and ‘unacceptable’ in a report this year. What’s more, the technology industry’s deliberate avoidance of taxes- sometimes through tax breaks that let them keep millions of dollars in their coffers- has earned them little good will from communities they so profoundly impact.”
Although 60% of San Francisco voters reportedly voted for the homeless tax, it is expected to face opposition legally because the tax was not agreed upon by a two-thirds voting majority.
“I had a skateboarding accident. My brain was bleeding. I can’t move my shoulder. I worked in construction, but now I can’t do that job. I can’t do the hammering motion. I tried living in a shelter but it’s worse than jail. It’s mixed up between the crazies, the criminals and the addicts. It’s gross. All night they’re coughing. I have a van. It’s nicer than the shelter. I want to work. I have an interview today for an apprenticeship at a body shop.” -Elliot, 49, newly homeless, hometown San Francisco
[SOURCE: SF Gate article, “We Asked 12 Homeless People What Happened” By: Amy Graff]
Last week, New York City’s Transit president told the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Board that he has directed station managers to kick out any homeless people who are lying down in the subway stations.
According to The New York Post, the NYC Transit president, Andy Byford, stated, “Having a seat and getting warm is fine, but I will not tolerate them leaving messes or laying across seats.”
Rebutting a board member who stated, “We need to be aware of the many reasons why people are homeless”; the New York Post reported that Mr. Byford “responded that he wasn’t going to let the homeless affect the comfort of his riders.”
The question is, how will this “zero tolerance” policy be implemented, and what will be the resulting effects?
As many New Yorkers are aware, the city’s housing crisis, along with other factors, has unfortunately turned the subway system into a makeshift homeless shelter at night, especially during the winter months. What will happen to the people who are seeking shelter in the subway station after they are expelled? Where will they go instead?
-The Homeless New Yorker