Coalition for the Homeless Response to Mayor De Blasio’s New Joint Command Center to Surveil Homeless New Yorkers on the Street

NEW YORK, NY – The following statement is attributed to Giselle Routhier, Policy Director at Coalition for the Homeless.

“We are deeply disturbed by Mayor de Blasio’s recent efforts to highlight the administration’s new Joint Command Center, where police officers monitor live video feeds from 20,000 camera angles and track the locations of ostensibly homeless New Yorkers. The Mayor’s Orwellian assurances that mass surveillance and policing of New Yorkers who are sleeping on the streets will somehow accomplish the goal of ‘winning their trust’ defies logic – in fact, repeated encounters with police officers are more likely to push people further away from services. Given the confirmation that the City is now deploying police officers in response to requests for homeless outreach services, we will no longer recommend that well-meaning New Yorkers use 311 for homeless outreach. Instead of wasting public resources on this counterproductive and chilling strategy, Mayor de Blasio should consider creating a Housing Command Center to increase access to the resources that will actually enable people to leave the streets and move into safe, stable homes of their own.” – Giselle Routhier, Policy Director at the Coalition for the Homeless