New York was in the midst of a record homelessness crisis even before the coronavirus hit. Some 60,000 people were filling municipal shelters across the city every night. Nearly a third of that number was living in dorm-style facilities for single adults, sharing bathrooms, dining areas and sleeping facilities.
“When Covid struck, we recognised very quickly this was a recipe for disaster,” said Jacqueline Simone, of Coalition for the Homeless, a New York charity. The problem was only going to get worse, they warned, as the economic crisis caused by the pandemic deepened.
They, and other advocacy groups, asked the city to find new shelters for the homeless to protect them from the coronavirus outbreak. Using hotels, which were lying empty across the city due to the pandemic, were seen as a perfect solution. Some 139 commercial hotels quickly stepped forward, according to city authorities — including a number of luxury hotels in Manhattan.
But in recent days, residents of some wealthier areas of New York where some of the hotels are located have complained about what they describe as anti-social behaviour and drug use by homeless people in their neighbourhoods.
In the Upper West Side, where the median house price is more than $1.8m, some residents have started a Facebook group to express their displeasure over the use of three high-end hotels in the area.
“Our community is terrified, angry and frightened,” one member of the ‘Upper West Siders For Safer Streets’ group told the New York Post. Another community group board member from the same area reportedly told the Post that “it feels like the 1970s. Everyone who can move out is moving out.”
Tabloids have seized upon the increased visibility of homeless people in the neighbourhood, running photographs of groups of men gathering accompanied by outraged headlines.
The response from these residents to a temporary solution to protect the homeless in a pandemic has prompted a backlash from charities and city officials.
more recommended stories
Cold front No. 4 is heading to the Yucatan Peninsula
Cold front No. 4, which today.
AMLO hopes to raise 50 billion pesos with the extinction of trusts
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured.
140 cases of dengue registered in Yucatan so far in 2020
“There are 140 cases of dengue.
Hugs and not bullets not working for AMLO – narco shooting leaves 11 dead in Guanajuato.
Preliminary versions from the authorities, say.
FONATUR ensures the preservation of Merida’s Cuxtal Ecological Reserve
With an investment of 278 million.
Dos Bocas, a “masterpiece” of the Secretariat of Energy destined to failure
Experts worldwide have stated that the.
Will corrupt Mexican ex-presidents ever face justice?
In a climate of mounting tension,.
Man accused of robbery with violence in Mérida, finally arrested in Campeche
For the crime of qualified robbery.
Yucatecan politician Cecilia Patrón Laviada reveals her aspirations to become mayor of Mérida
The federal representative and president of.
Donald Trump’s taxes out in the open – A record of a lousy businessman.
The New York Times obtained Donald.