West Village encampment puts spotlight on NYC’s homeless crisis as September sets 4 records

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WEST VILLAGE, Manhattan — "Nobody is like me," Jimmy Tarangelo states.

And he is right.

Out of the record high 59,527 homeless individuals recorded by the city on Tuesday, there is no one quite like the 64-year-old who lives along a stretch of Greenwich Street in the West Village.

For approximately two-and-half years Tarangelo has been living out of his 1990 Ford van, which he says doubles as a motor home.

"I got everything stuffed in there."

However it becomes quickly evident the 26-year-old vehicle is much more. Tarangelo has a number of belongings stacked on the inside and outside of it. The only place for refuge is under the front bumper, where "Pickles" his 16-year-old dog tends to hangout.

After a partial tour of his fully packed van, Tarangelo showed PIX 11 News his other van just a few feet away. This one is a 1991 Ford with South Dakota plates. It too is fully packed inside and out. When informed that people who are going to see all of this in a story and say, "No person should be living on the streets of New York like this," Tarangelo said, "They're right. I agree with you."

In recent years Tarangelo says he has seen a "four fold increase" in the homeless population around him.

Residents and workers in the area like Nicole Mignon feel, "It's a disgrace."

Mignon feels sorry for those on the streets, but blames the city for the historic crisis: "It honestly doesn't do well for the city. I think it's pretty sad. I think it's not very welcoming in my eyes."

Michael Tagliaferro is in agreement: "I think this pathetic. We live in New York City. We should be better right? They shouldn't be living in the streets like this."

The fact remains that more New Yorkers are homeless than ever before. In fact four times the first 14 days of September the city has established a new record homeless population.

Tarangelo's reaction?

"It's only going to get worst until they change the equation. They have got to build more housing."

PIX 11 News has made numerous requests for an interview with HRA / DHS Commissioner Steven Banks about the record highs established this month.

DHS spokesperson, David Neudstadt, has repeatedly stated Banks is unavailable.