New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that he would start moving some of the 13,000 homeless people he put into hotels back into shelters after receiving widespread complaints from residents and officials, but he gave no details on when the process would begin or how he would make sure people go where they are meant to

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that he would start moving some of the 13,000 homeless people he put into hotels back into shelters after receiving widespread complaints from residents and officials, but he gave no details on when the process would begin or how he would make sure people go where they are meant to. 

Homelessness in New York City has been escalating since March and was made worse by residents fleeing and the NYPD’s budget being cut, which dissolved its homeless outreach unit.  

De Blasio – to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks in homeless shelters – quietly launched a program whereby the city paid 139 empty hotels to take some of the homeless in for $175 per person, per night, according to sources close to it. It cost the city, which is staring down the barrel of a $9billion deficit from the pandemic, $2million a day and it created pockets of unruliness and crime.

At the same time, ramshackle encampments have popped up all over the city.

The NYPD is no longer intervening and homeless outreach programs are overstretched.  

After widespread complaints, now de Blasio says he’s going to reverse the plan to start moving them out of the hotels and back into shelters but he has given no set plan for how quickly he’s going to do it, which hotels will be cleared out first or how he’s going to ensure the homeless people – some of whom will likely resist being transferred – will actually go to the shelters and not set up more encampments on the already overflowing streets. 

‘We’re now starting the process of reducing the reliance on hotels.

And the more we can do that – and I think that’s the big plan is make sure we can start to get people out of those hotels, relieve some of the pressure on those communities, but do it in a way that’s really safe for everyone involved, and starting with those who are homeless,’ he said at his press conference on Monday. 

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Thousands of people were moved out of homeless shelters and into hotels, but despite the initiative, homeless encampments have been springing up across the city. Pictured: Homeless people setup encampments on Clarkson and Washington Street in lower Manhattan

Thousands of people were moved out of homeless shelters and into hotels, but despite the initiative, homeless encampments have been springing up across the city.

Pictured: Homeless people setup encampments on Clarkson and Washington Street in lower Manhattan 

Ramshackle encampments have popped up all over the city including here at Broadway and Franklin Street in Tribeca. Now, city mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to get homeless people back into shelters

Ramshackle encampments have popped up all over the city including here at Broadway and Franklin Street in Tribeca.

Now, city mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to get homeless people back into shelters

New York authorities are to begin the process of moving homeless people who are currently staying in hotels back to shelters, but some are calling for more long-term solutions to the city's homeless crisis.

New York authorities are to begin the process of moving homeless people who are currently staying in hotels back to shelters, but some are calling for more long-term solutions to the city’s homeless crisis. 

One homeless couple – Ladiee Warner and her husband – told the NY1 outlet that they are not interested in going back to a shelter and they’d rather live on the streets.

‘The shelters I have been in, they are nasty, the staff is rude,’ Warner said.

‘People are fighting. People getting stabbed. It’s dangerous things going on they don’t take serious. It’s safer on the streets than inside of there.’ 

Toni Hays, who with her family set up camp near Penn Station along one of the busiest streets in Manhattan, said: ‘We move from this spot to back in front of the post office.

Back and forth. 

De Blasio has been widely criticized for his response to the pandemic and his handling of the homeless crisis in New York City

De Blasio has been widely criticized for his response to the pandemic and his handling of the homeless crisis in New York City 

‘The cops, they move us back and forth.

The cops move us around a lot, because there is nowhere to sit really. Right now it’s hard to get something on our own, because the rent is so expensive.’  

Figures released in May 2020 show that in recent years, New York City has reached the highest levels of homelessness since the Great Depression, with almost 60,000 homeless people living in the city, and in 2019, over 130,000 men, women and children slept in the New York City municipal shelter system.

However, with many of the shelters either closed or running at a reduced capacity due to the coronavirus crisis amid fears of the virus spreading through the shelter system, many of the city’s homeless were forced out on to the streets.

Despite city mayor Bill de Blazio’s and the Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) initiative housing around 13,000 homeless people in a number of Manhattan’s hotels, homeless encampments have still sprung up around the city, with many calling for better long-term solutions. 

In July, it emerged that 139 of the city’s hotels – which had been forced closed for months – had agreed to take in homeless people for $175 per person, per night as part of a scheme by the city to try to avoid a breakout of COVID-19 in homeless shelters. 

But the initiative is costing some $2 million a night to house around 13,000 people (although the city will try to claim some of this back from FEMA), and outraging local residents in areas such as Chelsea and the Upper West Side who have said the streets have become more dangerous. 

Some displaced people have been seen doing drugs, urinating and cat calling in the streets – which are free from tourists with a widespread travel ban due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The rise in crime in the city since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic has also been attributed to the homeless crisis by some residents.

The mayor has previously blamed the rise on the coronavirus pandemic and authorities have blamed it on the release of people from jail to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

But pressure from residents has led to Mayor Bill de Blasio making a U-turn when it comes to the fate of the city’s homeless and will now move thousands back into shelters. 

De Blasio has said the process will begin immediately although the mayor did not provide an end date by which time all of New York’s homeless would be out of city hotels and off the streets. 

A homeless man passes a farmers market at Astor Place in Manhattan on Tuesday, August 17

A homeless man passes a farmers market at Astor Place in Manhattan on Tuesday, August 17

A homeless man approaches a food truck at Astor Place on Tuesday, August 17

A homeless man approaches a food truck at Astor Place on Tuesday, August 17 

A woman sleeping at Astor Place in New York City on Tuesday

A woman sleeping at Astor Place in New York City on Tuesday 

A homeless person naps with a can of beer nestled in their chest as others walk past in New York on Tuesday

A homeless person naps with a can of beer nestled in their chest as others walk past in New York on Tuesday 

The backtrack by De Blasio to move the homeless back into shelters comes after complaints over issues of 'quality of life' from those living in the neighborhoods affected. Pictures, a homeless man on 14th Street in Manhattan

The backtrack by De Blasio to move the homeless back into shelters comes after complaints over issues of ‘quality of life’ from those living in the neighborhoods affected.

Pictures, a homeless man on 14th Street in Manhattan

Although no specific timeline to move the homeless back into shelters was given, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city would start the process immediately, starting with those who are most vulnerable

Although no specific timeline to move the homeless back into shelters was given, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city would start the process immediately, starting with those who are most vulnerable

New York's homeless community on Fifth Avenue have used furniture and junk abandoned by wealthy people fleeing the city during the pandemic to build a sidewalk camp

New York’s homeless community on Fifth Avenue have used furniture and junk abandoned by wealthy people fleeing the city during the pandemic to build a sidewalk camp

A homeless encampment along Broadway and Franklin Street in lower Manhattan sits abandoned as the city grapples with numerous make shift shelters popping up over recent weeks

A homeless encampment along Broadway and Franklin Street in lower Manhattan sits abandoned as the city grapples with numerous make shift shelters popping up over recent weeks

A homeless person is pictures wandering the streets in Midtown Manhattan over the weekend. The mayor stressed that in order for the homeless to be moved out of hotels, the city would need to ensure that there is enough safe space in existing shelters

A homeless person is pictures wandering the streets in Midtown Manhattan over the weekend. The mayor stressed that in order for the homeless to be moved out of hotels, the city would need to ensure that there is enough safe space in existing shelters

Pictured: A homeless person sets up an encampment on West 4th and 6th Avenue in lower Manhattan on Monday

Pictured: A homeless person sets up an encampment on West 4th and 6th Avenue in lower Manhattan on Monday 

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October 3, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that he would start moving some of the 13,000 homeless people he put into hotels back into shelters after receiving widespread complaints from residents and officials, but he gave no details on when the process would begin or how he would make sure people go where they are meant to

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