Earlier this month, two deadly stabbings resulting in the death of two men occurred at two different New York City homeless shelters.
According to ABC News, on November 5, 2019, a 38-year old man was fatally stabbed directly outside of The Landing Family Shelter, located in East Elmhurst, Queens, next to LaGuardia airport. Reportedly,an argument precipitated the stabbing that left the victim dead from a wound to his torso. The police have arrested a suspect in this case; a 34-year old man who had allegedly been evicted from the shelter in October 2019.
According to The New York Times, another fatal homeless shelter stabbing occurred on November 10, 2019. A resident at Basic Housing Men’s Homeless Shelter, located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was stabbed to death during a brawl with his roommate.
These incidents highlight the deadly dangers that are constantly present at a large majority of New York City homeless shelters. Many homeless shelter residents are not only grappling with the disorienting and detrimental affects of not having adequate housing, they are also facing life-threatening perils that are present at New York City homeless shelters.
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.”