Governor Cuomo recently stated that the issue with homeless people usurping New York City’s train system is “worse than ever.” NYC’s governor also tasked the MTA with solving the problem, stating that the problem is solely under the jurisdiction of the MTA, and “they will be held accountable” for it.
According to CBS News, in a letter to the MTA board of directors issued Friday, Governor Cuomo stated the following about the current situation of homeless New Yorkers proliferating in the subway system: “While crime may reportedly be down on the subways, the number of homeless people is up, and it is directly impacting service to riders.
In 2018, there were 1,771 homeless people living in the subway — that number surged to 2,178 in 2019, an increase of 23%. According to the MTA’s own statistics, trains were delayed 659 times in 2018 by homeless people who were walking on tracks, and engaging in disruptive and often dangerous behavior including blocking train doors—a staggering 54% increase from the 428 homeless related delays in 2014. And that number is getting worse: in the first three months of this year, the MTA reports that there have already been 313 homeless related train delays. Over the last decade, the number of incidents more than tripled, from 254 in 2008 to 856 last year.
New Yorkers are unfortunately accustomed to having homeless issues on the trains and in the terminals during the winter months, but this has now become a year-round phenomenon.”
Governor Cuomo also demanded that the MTA quickly come up with a plan to combat homelessness in their Reorganization Plan, stating: “The Reorganization Plan legally due by the end of July provides the opportunity to not only address the administrative changes but also the protracted issue of homelessness in the MTA, and you should demand that it does and that the plan be compassionate, pragmatic and effective.”
New York City homeless shelters are notoriously drug riddled. There are many NYC homeless shelters where drugs are rampant and drug users are allowed to ingest drugs via a variety of methods with impunity. Shelter staff often turns a blind eye to obvious drug use; some even participate in the illegal activity in one form or another.
Proof of rampant drug use in and around New York City homeless shelters often appear in the form of news stories when the drug use leads to multiple overdoses, or some other ridiculously egregious event occurs.
It has been reported that, a few weeks ago, a mother residing at an East Harlem homeless shelter was charged with the crime of attempted murder after trying to drown her daughters in the shelter’s bathtub.
The mother subsequently told law enforcement that she had smoked “bad marijuana,” which caused her to experience hallucinations in which she thought her daughters were being attacked by bugs.
The use of synthetic marijuana at NYC homeless shelters has been widely reported, especially over the past few summer seasons. The drug has notably caused mass overdoses in New York City, in areas where there are homeless shelters.
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.”
The following statement is an excerpt from Coalition for the Homeless’s “State of the Homeless 2019” Report. (This report is a survey, and analysis of the New York homeless shelter system. Also, the following passage is 100% accurate, sad to say. SMH!):
“In addition to the needed capital repairs, the failure to provide routine cleaning and maintenance of facilities is degrading to shelter residents and creates unhygienic conditions. Coalition monitors frequently observe filthy bathrooms, most often at night and on weekends. Shelter residents sometimes have no choice but to try to clean the bathrooms themselves despite lacking proper equipment and supplies. Problems with vermin, including insect infestations, also abound in many shelters.
Certain practices and conditions in many shelters further traumatize and dehumanize homeless individuals. These practices include requiring residents to request toilet paper whenever they need to use the restroom; providing poor-quality, unappetizing food and insufficient portions (while forbidding residents from bringing outside food into shelters); failing to offer frequent laundry services; providing inadequate case management and housing assistance; and erecting bureaucratic barriers that deter those seeking shelter.”
[NOTE: The above picture is from news source DNA Info. It is from a 2015 article entitled, “Jail Has Better Food Than Homeless Shelter Without Kitchens, Residents Say”]
These are the nine rent regulation proposals that will go to the legislative floor for a vote [SOURCE: City]:
1)Expansion of the Emergency Tenant Protection Act, which regulates rents and evictions during a housing emergency. (A housing emergency is when there is a housing vacancy rate of 5% or lower.)
2)Prohibiting evictions without “good cause.”
3)End vacancy decontrol, which makes a rent-stabilized apartment no longer eligible for stabilization if its rent exceeds $2,774.76 or the tenant’s household income exceeds $200,000.
4)Eliminating the vacancy bonus, which allows landlords to increase the rent on an apartment by 20% every time a lease changes hands.
5)Make preferential rents permanent until vacancy.
6)End rent hikes for major capital improvements.
7)End rent hikes for individual apartment improvements.
8)Extend time for overcharge complaints by eliminating the statute of limitations regarding this issue for rent-stabilized tenants.
9)Rent control and rent stabilization increase cap.
A homeless shelter is slated to be opened on Billionaire’s Row, a stretch of New York City that is purported to be some of the most expensive real estate in the world.
The area that is located at the southern end of New York City’s Central Park will reportedly soon be home to a 150-bed men’s homeless shelter. After multiple rounds of litigation, a Judge recently gave the green light to the shelter’s opening at the former Park Savoy Hotel, located on 58th Street, near 7th Avenue.
Residents of the area attempted to fight the opening of the shelter in court stating that the building was unsafe for residency, would increase crime in the area, and would cause economic harm to the value of neighboring properties.
In light of the most recent judicial ruling, opponents to the shelter vow to continue to pursue an appeal. Meanwhile, according to news source Breitbart, social services Commissioner Steven Banks has stated that, “We will begin servicing our neighbors in need at this location as soon as possible.”