NYC mayoral candidates Adams, Sliwa slam city’s current approach to homeless outreach

New York Elections

NEW YORK CITY — The general election campaign for mayor is well underway this week, with Democratic nominee Eric Adams continuing a sort of primary victory tour, while Republican Curtis Sliwa is trying to break through with voters.

Adams was with Hotel Trades Council workers Thursday, thanking them for their early support of his campaign.

After the rally — and some hand shaking — Adams spoke about his week of gun violence prevention events with President Joe Biden and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He left the door open to hiring more police officers with stimulus dollars, as the president has suggested.

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“If that’s the way the federal government is attaching the dollar amount, I would accept it,” Adams said. “We could ensure we can put officers in those areas where we are dealing with this gang crisis.”

So far, there has been no requirement by the federal government to explicitly use stimulus dollars on cops. But Sliwa said as mayor, he absolutely would.

“You take the money and you hire police now,” he said. “You don’t say maybe I should repurpose this, or do that. When does Washington D.C. give New York anything we don’t have to beg for? And now they’re finally giving us money.”

PIX11 met Sliwa along Seventh Avenue in Midtown, where the city’s homelessness and mental health crisis was on full display. As he approached, he checked on a man sleeping off the remnants of apparent drug use, splayed on the sidewalk by the Macy’s flagship store.

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The GOP nominee blasted the city’s shelter approach.

“It’s a warehouse,” Sliwa said. “They have to be in by 10, they kick them out by 7:30 in the morning. There’s no services, no treatment for alcohol or drug addiction or emotional issues. So what do you think will happen? They spend all day roaming the streets.”

Currently, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to get more homeless individuals out of hotels where they rode out the pandemic and back into shelters. His administration feels that’s the best place to connect homeless New Yorkers with services.

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Sliwa and Adams both said they are more open to some careful conversion of hotels into single room shelters with services.

“We could repurpose hotels to have your own living space, and also some shared space,” Adams said. “There are great models I’ve seen in Europe and other places.”

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