Homeless encampments show failure of NYC’s ‘soft love’ approach



With the pandemic emptying out the town’s streets, and the NYPD centered elsewhere, foul and filthy homeless encampments are popping up throughout the town — exposing the impotence of the huge social-service system that’s supposed to forestall such horrors.

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

Safety guard Jesse Alberio, 56, who lives close by, says, “It will get actual intimidating! I gained’t come out right here at evening,” including that a few of the vagrants sneak into his constructing “and s - - t within the stairwells.”

And so they’re cussed. Sanitation employees final Sunday rooted out an East Village camp on Second Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets — however the “residents” had been again in under a day.

Locals say the “campers” simply went throughout the road, waited beneath the marquee of the Orpheum Theater, then returned as soon as the town employees left.

They even saved their facilities: a desk, a big headboard, a mattress — together with entry to a metropolis phone-charging kiosk.

“We had a blissful 12 hours of peace,” neighbor Vanessa Valdes mentioned in an electronic mail to The Submit. “They’re again and rebuilding buildings once more. . . . What might be completed?”

Mike Tarabih, 45, a cook dinner on the close by B&H Restaurant, says: “It’s an excessive amount of. The blankets, the beds, the furnishings. They make residences on the sidewalk. Prospects say, ‘No, I’m going some other place.’ ”

The day after cops finally broke up and cleared out the “Occupy Metropolis Corridor” homeless camp, Mayor de Blasio declared he had a “zero tolerance” coverage; “Anybody who tells us about an encampment, we’re going to have it addressed straight away by Homeless Companies, Sanitation, PD. No matter it takes.”

And but the shantytowns stay (or return after a quick pause), making New Yorkers really feel unsafe in their very own houses and ’hoods.

Metropolis and city-paid nonprofit employees both can’t or gained’t do what’s wanted. So long as the mayor refuses to see that powerful love is the one reply, “zero tolerance” will proceed to look extra like “throw-up-your-hands acceptance.”

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