NY officials announce plan to remove homeless from subway

Responding to a surge in crime in New York City’s subways and riders’ concerns about being harassed by people sheltering on the train, Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday Six has announced that they will no longer allow use of the city’s subway system. for anything but transportation.

The New York Police Department will now strictly enforce the normally floating subways behavior rules, they said. Open drug use and smoking will no longer be tolerated. Any person found lounging on a subway seat will be escorted off the train and helped.

“Not just do whatever you want,” Mr. Adams said. “Those days are over. Swipe your MetroCard, use the system, and get off at your destination. That’s what this administration is saying.”

The new effort, detailed in a document released Friday called Subway Safety Plan, effective next week, Mr. Adams said. The plan also includes measures to connect people sheltering in the subway with mental health services and permanent housing.

The mayor and governor made a joint announcement at a subway station in Lower Manhattan. It arrived just over a month later Michelle Alyssa Go40 years old, pushed in front of a train in Times Square and a homeless man with a history of schizophrenia charged with murder.

And after a year in which the metro system’s rate of violent crime per million daily commuters rose almost universally from 2019, before the pandemic, spreading widespread fear that the system was not functioning properly. safe.

Transit officials say public safety concerns have hampered efforts to lure riders back to a transit system that is facing a difficult financial situation. New York City’s economy cannot recover without thriving subways that riders feel safe with, officials said Friday.

“People tell me about their fear of using the system,” Mr. Adams said. “And we will make sure that fear is not the reality of New York.”

Serious assaults in the metro have increased by nearly 25% in 2021 compared to 2019, despite a drop in passenger numbers caused by the pandemic.

Police said 30 people were pushed onto the tracks in 2021, up from 20 in 2019 and nine in 2017.

“We will declare without reservation that our subway trains exist to move paying customers from one point to another,” the plan reads.

Stressing the importance of Friday’s announcement, the mayor and governor were joined by the city’s police commissioner, Keechant Sewell; The President of the Metropolitan Transport Authority, which operates the subways, Janno Lieber; and the president of the 100 Local Transport Workers Association, Tony Utano.

The plan includes a series of proposals designed to help underground shelters – many of whom struggle with mental illness, substance abuse or both – receive effective treatment and find permanent housing.

It tries to address a frequent complaint from advocates and homeless people that only “access” is where a homeless person is often given a simple room in a group shelter. like barracks – which they often refuse – is not enough. The plan calls for the creation of about 500 new beds in private rooms.

The plan also promises to send more mental health professionals into the subway system, who will be empowered to inadvertently assess and hospitalized people who are considered a danger to themselves or others.

With a broader focus on untreated mental illness, the plan calls for expanding the use of Kendra’s Law, which allows a judge to order a person with a mental illness to receive outpatient treatment.

“There are a lot of rivers that create a sea of ​​homelessness, and we’re going to have to dam every river if we’re going to tackle this,” Mr. Adams said.

For the homeless struggling with mental illness, there has long been a lack of so-called supportive housing, with social services on-site; Applying for a place in supportive housing often involves a large amount of bewildering red tape.

The plan promises to expand the availability of supportive housing and reduce “the amount of paperwork required to apply.”

Michael Gold contribution report.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/nyregion/nyc-subway-homeless.html NY officials announce plan to remove homeless from subway

Fry Electronics Team

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