Mayor Adams to Start to Clear City’s Homeless Encampments: in Next Two Weeks
By Yehudit Garmaise
Mayor Eric Adams plans, in the next two weeks, to launch a citywide effort to clear the city’s streets and parks of the tattered urban campsites in which one official estimate says at least 1,100 homeless people live in NYC.
While 50,000 other homeless people live in shelters in the city, many people who live in encampments say that they do so either because they do not feel safe in the shelters, while others say they do not want to follow the shelters’ rules and curfews.
“We’re going to rid the encampments off our streets, and we’re going to place people in healthy living conditions with wraparound services,” Mayor Adams told the New York Times on Friday.
Brooklyn is the borough with the third largest population of people who live on the streets: after Manhattan, where two-thirds of homeless New Yorkers live, and the Bronx.
Mayor Adams announced his plans to address street homelessness five weeks after he launched his Subway Safety Plan, which has seen some success in relocating people who sleep, live, and do anything other than commute on the city’s subways.
On the streets: “block-by-block, district-by-district,” Mayor Adams said that he is telling teams of sanitation workers, police officers, and outreach workers to “identify where the encampments are, then execute a plan to give services to the people who are in the encampments, and then to dismantle those encampments.”
After the city conducted 133 citywide cleanups of mattresses, tarps, and tents, in January, according to the advocacy group Urban Justice Center, homeless people and their advocates said that such efforts merely involve throwing away the few belongings of unhoused New Yorkers: further disrupting their already quite unstable lives, without providing any positive solutions.
“We can’t stop individuals from sleeping on the streets, based on law, and we’re not going to violate that law,” Mayor Adams said. “But you can’t build a miniature house made out of cardboard on the streets.
Photo Credit: Flickr