New Ad Narrated by Richard Gere Warns of Tent Cities in New York City if Right to Shelter Dismantled

(NEW YORK, NY) – The Coalition for the Homeless has launched a new ad campaign showing the tent cities that may soon appear in New York City public spaces if Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul succeed in gutting the legal Right to Shelter. The ad features a voiceover narration by actor Richard Gere, and includes New Yorkers pleading for the Right to Shelter to be protected.

The ad campaign comes shortly after major rallies in New York City and Albany last week defending the Right to Shelter, hosted by the NY SANE coalition, including Coalition for the Homeless, The Legal Aid Society, Win, the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and Housing Justice for All – representing hundreds of housing and tenant organizations, labor unions, faith groups, advocates, service providers, and other organizations throughout New York State. The rallies featured “Hochulville” tent cities – in reference to Hoovervilles, the shanty towns that emerged during the Great Depression.

The ads reflect the view of the vast majority of New Yorkers, as evidenced in the dramatic findings in last week’s Quinnipiac poll, which shows that about two-thirds of voters support the Right to Shelter and 72 percent think the Mayor is mishandling homelessness.

“The legal Right to Shelter is the only thing keeping New York from seeing the emergence of sprawling tent encampments like those in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or so many other major U.S. cities that lack such a right,” said Dave Giffen, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “Weakening the Right to Shelter will make our city unrecognizable – physically, as well as morally.  This ad simply tries to help New Yorkers visualize what our neighborhoods will look like without a legal Right to Shelter.”