NEW YORK (PIX11) — The controversial clean sweep across New York City continues Wednesday under orders by Mayor Eric Adams: Remove all homeless encampments and offer to relocate unhoused New Yorkers into shelters.
“When I hear people saying, ‘Why are you removing encampments, are you doing it so the city can look better?’ No, I want us to do better,” Adams said.
One by one, sanitation crews began removing people’s belongings and makeshift homes from dozens of locations, including under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Manhattan Bridge Arch. The move came the wake of increased homeless outreach in the subway system that began earlier this month.
Homeless advocates already warned that these moves would only make the issue worse.
“Rather than just trying to move homeless people out of sight to appease people who are fortunate enough to be stably housed, cities should really be investing in the types of low barrier shelter facilities and permanent housing,” Jacquelyn Simone, policy director of the Coalition for the Homeless, said.
On Tuesday, the mayor unveiled a new safe haven facility in the Bronx with some-80 beds. But the Coalition for the Homeless says that’s not good enough with an estimated 2,000 people living on the street on any given night, and many don’t feel safe in other traditional shelters where 80,000 already live.
The mayor made an announcement regarding social services Wednesday following his newly implemented initiative to address homelessness.