For Immediate Release: April 12, 2022
Coalition for the Homeless:
Legal Aid Society:
Redmond Haskins, Director of Media Relations
Statement from the Coalition for the Homeless and The Legal Aid Society on Encampment Sweeps
(NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless released the following statement condemning the Adams Administration’s continued sweeps of homeless encampments citywide:
“Over the past weeks, the Adams Administration has upended the lives of hundreds of homeless New Yorkers throughout the city, destroying their belongings, inflicting trauma, disrupting their access to services, and failing to help people move into permanent housing or private, single-occupancy shelter beds where they feel safe.
We say, and most New Yorkers would agree, that this is the antithesis of ‘getting stuff done.’ This approach is counterproductive, and makes it much harder to connect people with housing, shelters, and services. These Giuliani-era tactics were tried decades ago and failed, only worsening our city’s homelessness crisis and harming the people involved. Notably, prior mayors conducted thousands of sweeps, but many New Yorkers continue to reside on the streets because the City has failed to offer them a safer alternative.
The solution to homelessness is housing. The City should invest in affordable permanent housing where our homeless neighbors can reside in peace, away from the elements and other dangers on the street.
But the damage has already been done, and this cruel policy will tarnish the Mayor’s legacy. The Administration can immediately offer real permanent housing and safe, private shelter options to people, and we implore the City to do exactly that, and to cease these cruel, pointless, and ineffective sweeps.”