Do so-called ‘homeless advocates’ really want what’s best for them?
We call on Mayor Adams to show the political courage to do what his predecessor would not do: make our subways safer and more welcoming for everyone.
“No more tobacco, no more drugs, no more sleep, no more barbecues in the metro. No more doing what you want,” Adams said at the Monday launch of his subway safety program. “No. Those days are over.
Of course, advocacy groups are bracing for action, promising legal action in pursuit of a phantom “right” to sleep on the subway. When Governor Andrew Cuomo shut down subways to clean them overnight during the pandemic, the Urban Justice Center Safety Net Project sued to keep the homeless there. Mayor Bill de Blasio even appointed homeless services Steven Banks, the former chief legal aid attorney who frequently sued the city over it.
But what’s compassionate, or even fair, about letting people sleep on the subway? It’s dirty and dehumanizing. Some people don’t want to go to shelters, yes, often because they are not sane due to mental illness or addiction. Letting them “do what they want” is not the solution.
The argument that shelters are somehow less safe than a subway station never held water. Nonetheless, Adams and Governor Hochul understand that improving the social safety net will help, and Hochul is proposing $27.5 million in additional funding for statewide psychiatric beds, among other funding.
These are all good shots. Do the politicians and advocates who claim they care to focus on improving treatment and shelter, or will they push baseless lawsuits in hopes of maintaining a status quo that punishes the homeless? shelter and New Yorkers in general?
“There is a case where a woman has been living under a staircase in the system for months. This is not acceptable,” Adams said in his speech. “It’s not dignity. It’s disgusting. And it’s not who we are as a city.
We couldn’t agree more. Hopefully others will have the good sense to see it.
New York Post