Adams vows NYC will go ‘block by block’ to remove homeless encampments; plan lacks important detail

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) has been in office for almost three months and is gearing up to tackle the growing homeless problem in the nation’s most populated city.

“We’re going to rid the encampments off our street and we’re going to place people in healthy living conditions with wraparound services,” he told the New York Times in an interview published on Friday.

Adams plans to start cleaning up the streets where more than an estimated 2,300 homeless live within about two weeks but was not specific on when efforts would begin, or where the homeless would go.

According to a city website, encampments are defined as “a structure to live under, including but not limited to: mattresses, tarps, tents, camping setups.” And while New York City most certainly has a homeless population, the city has not experienced the vast homeless encampments like those seen in California and Oregon.

According to the 61-year-old mayor, it’s not illegal to sleep on the street, it’s just illegal to sleep on the street while simultaneously sheltering yourself from the elements where temperatures have been recorded as low as -15 degrees.

“We can’t stop an individual from sleeping on the street based on law, and we’re not going to violate that law,” Adams said. “But you can’t build a miniature house made out of cardboard on the streets. That’s inhumane.”

“I’m telling my city agencies to do an analysis block by block, district by district, identify where the encampments are, then execute a plan to give services to the people who are in the encampments, then to dismantle those encampments,” Adams said.

However, some people on social media were skeptical of the mayor’s plan.

Last month Adams announced a “Subway Safety Plan” to deal with the homeless population inhabiting the subway on the heels of six subway stabbings in one weekend.

“It is cruel and inhumane to allow unhoused people to live on the subway, and unfair to paying passengers and transit workers who deserve a clean, orderly, and safe environment,” Adams proclaimed in a statement. “The days of turning a blind eye to this growing problem are over.”

Adams explained at the time that while the “vast majority” of the homeless population is not dangerous, he didn’t want “fear to become reality.”

Just tell that to the six subway stabbing victims last month.

“We are not going to live in fear and frustration,” Adams said last month according to The Hill. “We have to dam every river if we are going to address this issue.”


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