The Coalition released today the following statement on the MTA’s admission that benches and other amenities have been intentionally removed from stations to make them less welcoming to homeless New Yorkers:
“Making our transportation system more uncomfortable, unwelcoming, and inaccessible for New Yorkers who rely on it, including our homeless neighbors, is just wrong. Removing benches does not solve homelessness. People who take refuge in the subways out of desperation for a warm space simply need the safety and dignity of a home, not callous policies that make their lives more difficult. If the MTA is concerned about homelessness, they should ask their boss Governor Cuomo, and Mayor de Blasio, to fund housing for New Yorkers and low-threshold, single-occupancy hotel rooms for emergency shelter. We encourage them to read our recommendations for helping unsheltered New Yorkers get housing and safe places to stay,” said Giselle Routhier, Policy Director of the Coalition for the Homeless.