NEW YORK, NY – The following statement released today by the Coalition for the Homeless is in response to Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, and the MTA’s plan to increase policing in the subways to remove homeless New Yorkers seeking refuge.
“If you want to help homeless New Yorkers move off the subways and the streets, you need to offer them somewhere safe to go. During this pandemic, many homeless New Yorkers are rightfully afraid of crowded congregate shelters, where COVID-19 continues to spread. More policing won’t stop homeless individuals from taking refuge in the subways because it doesn’t address what people actually need: safe, private space so they can take the advice of health officials to maintain social distance. The City could open up thousands of hotel rooms and offer every single person on the subway access to them, if only Mayor de Blasio had the political will. This misguided policing strategy will continue to push people further into the shadows and make the situation worse for all New Yorkers,” said Giselle Routhier, Policy Director at Coalition for the Homeless.