Homeless man removed from NYC building after 7 On Your Side report

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ByDan Krauth via WABC logo
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
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A group of tenants in the Bronx called 7 On Your Side after a homeless man was living in the stairwell of their building for the past two years.

BRONX, New York City (WABC) -- A group of tenants in the Bronx called 7 On Your Side Investigates after a homeless man was living in the stairwell of their apartment building for the past two years.

Less than 48 hours after the story aired, the man has been removed.

"It sucks that it took this long to happen, but thanks for shedding a light on it," tenant Pilar Walker said. "Because of you guys, he was moved quickly right after you guys aired."

Tenants say police showed up and removed the man and all of his belongings from the Simpson Street apartment building.

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They claimed to have called management and police more than two dozen times about the issue over the past two years, but the homeless man remained.

"I'm happy I can walk through my door and not see him, not smell anything," Walker said. "And I'm happy I can take out the trash and go into the trash chute and there's no human feces there. And I owe a big thanks to you guys."

Tenants said the man was caught using drugs, walking around naked, and going to the bathroom where he was living in the fifth and sixth floor stairwell.

It's an issue we've reported on numerous times at numerous buildings across the area since last summer. Also since the story aired, we have received about a dozen calls from viewers saying the same thing is happened at their building.

To look for homeless complaints in your area, search here:

We found complaints to 311 about the homeless have gone up this year compared to last, not only in the subway system but also in commercial and private residential buildings.

The Coalition for the Homeless said the city is experiencing record levels of homelessness.

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The answer, according to them, isn't just temporary shelters, but finding permanent homes and helping people before they become homeless in the first place.

"We need to go further than just providing people emergency shelter and help people avoid homelessness in the first place and move people out of shelters much more quickly with investments in permanent housing," Policy Director Jacquelyn Simone said.

Jovana Rizzo, a spokesperson for Tupelo Apartments Property Management, emailed the following statement when 7 On Your Side Investigates first reported on the issue:

"This has been a concerning issue for the larger community since the pandemic began. We, along with the prior owner and manager, have been working with our city partners to address it. We are also reminding residents with signage to never let someone in the building that they don't know, and never prop doors open. We will work with our residents, the City, and nonprofit partners to collectively come up with a strategy to ensure our homes are secure and homeless New Yorkers have access to the services they need."

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