NEW YORK (PIX11) — The first part of the city’s efforts to connect New Yorkers experiencing homelessness to services is complete, Mayor Eric Adams said in a press conference Wednesday.

The sweep of homeless encampments across the city has been a cause of concern from advocates. They say the city should invest in permanent housing and low-barrier shelters instead.

On Tuesday afternoon, the mayor opened the Morris Avenue Safe Haven site in the Bronx, which had 80 beds available to people experiencing homelessness. There will be 350 beds open to New Yorkers this week, according to his office.

Adams said that the city will not only be providing beds in the safe haven facility but also services that will address medical and mental health concerns of those they have taken off the streets.

“We want to show them what it looks like to have services, a clean bathroom, a place where they could have dignity, not living in their own waste,” he said.

In the middle of his address, he showed a picture of hypodermic needles inside an encampment taken down in Brooklyn.

Credit: Office of Mayor Eric Adams

Adams said he experienced reluctance toward relocation from unhoused New Yorkers at the start. The first week of his safety plan rollout only had 22 people accept services, but now there are over 300 people who are being served, according to the mayor. 

As the removal of makeshift shelters continues, he has plans to be able to convince more of them to accept the services the city is offering.

City officials say part of the outreach effort involves brochures, which depict the safe haven facility and the services available.

Credit: Office of Mayor Eric Adams

When asked if there will be enough beds for all unhoused New Yorkers seeking the city’s services, Adams said his team is “going to continuously make sure that anyone who needs a bed will receive a bed.”

The second phase of his multi-agency initiative starts Thursday, which will involve recanvassing and scheduling the next round of site visits. Adams said his team has conducted 244 visits so far, and 239 of those have been cleared.