Saturday, July 21, 2018
Pedestrian plazas are homeless havens
From CBS 2:
There are a lot of homeless people on the streets on New York, which has lead some to wonder if the city’s homeless problem is growing.
CBS2 found one homeless hangout right in the middle of bustling Midtown Manhattan. For Thomas Decoteau, the area most known for the hustle and bustle of daily life in the Big Apple is simply known as the quiet zone.
Occupants say they typically get to the space around midnight every night and sleep surrounded by around 25 other homeless people. Decoteau has been sleeping in the Midtown oasis for years, and says outreach workers check on him every night. He’s still there because the city has labeled his street home a temporary pop up location, not an encampment. Only encampments may be forcibly removed.
By the city’s definition, encampments have a visible physical structure that’s difficult to move. Decoteau estimates there are upwards of 100 people staying along the space stretching from 39th to 35th Streets. The Department of Homeless Services refused to discuss the so-called pop up, but insisted last week the homeless situation is under control.