Sunday, August 2, 2020

Homeless Encampments in New York City

In French there’s a useful phrase that now pops into mind-- il ne manquait que cela. Roughly it translates: it’s all that was missing. One might add: to complete the picture.

Today the picture is New York City’s decline. What with the rising crime rate and the empty office buildings, what with the diminishing tax base and the political ineptitude, what with addicts taking over streets and churches, the only that that was missing was homeless encampments.

After all, we follow the splendid example of the great cities on our west coast, so we are happy to welcome homeless encampments into our midst. Like mayors of west coast cities, New York’s mayor, comrade de Blasio is against homeless encampments. And he even sends an occasional team around to break them up. 

This being New York, no one takes him seriously. Once an encampment is shut down another one pops up to take its place.

The New York Post  has the story:

With the pandemic emptying out the city’s streets, and the NYPD focused elsewhere, foul and filthy homeless encampments are popping up across the city — exposing the impotence of the vast social-service system that’s supposed to prevent such horrors.

One shantytown sprawls under the FDR Drive in lower Manhattan, stretching south from Catherine Slip to Pier 11, in what one resident called “a scene out of a zombie movie.”

Security guard Jesse Alberio, 56, who lives nearby, says, “It gets real intimidating! I won’t come out here at night,” adding that some of the vagrants sneak into his building “and s - - t in the stairwells.”

And they’re stubborn. Sanitation workers last Sunday rooted out an East Village camp on Second Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets — but the “residents” were back in under a day.

Locals say the “campers” just went across the street, waited under the marquee of the Orpheum Theater, then returned once the city workers left.

It’s not quite the same thing as listening to some whiny adolescent complaining about someone’s use of the wrong pronoun, but still:

And yet the shantytowns remain (or return after a brief pause), making New Yorkers feel unsafe in their own homes and ’hoods.

City and city-paid nonprofit workers either can’t or won’t do what’s needed. As long as the mayor refuses to see that tough love is the only answer, “zero tolerance” will continue to look more like “throw-up-your-hands acceptance.”

It’s the Big Apple-- for now. 


Mark In Mayenne said...

Also "That's all we needed"

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you... I also managed to get the French wrong in the first posting... since corrected.

whitney said...

JPL17 said...

Looks like the de-institutionalizers are getting close to their penultimate goal: total anarchy.

Sam L. said...

The Big Apple...rotten to the core.

Anonymous said...

or "as if it wasn't bad enough...."