Coronavirus Update NYC: Backlash grows over mayor's plan to move homeless back to shelters

Darla Miles Image
Monday, July 26, 2021
EMBED <>More Videos

As New York City has begun moving the homeless from city hotels, advocates are still digging their heels into the ground to try to stop it.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City leaders are speaking out against the mayor's plan to move homeless people out of hotels and back into shelters.

"My homeless brothers and sisters who are now facing eviction to be placed in what I call congregate death traps," homeless advocate Shams Debaron said.

As New York City has begun moving the homeless from city hotels, advocates are still digging their heels into the ground to try to stop it.

"People that are in these hotels ain't trying to go back there," Debaron said. "They're not trying to go back because we know pre-pandemic those places were unsafe and inhumane."

RELATED | Judge pauses transfer of disabled homeless New Yorkers from hotels to shelters

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams was joined by the undomiciled who have lived in the Lucerne Hotel, along with advocates, to implore the city to pass legislation that would expand the rental voucher program and provide access to permanent housing.

He says the city should be looking at permanent solutions like this, not stop-gap measures like city shelters. And he says there's even greater COVID concerns because of the delta variant.

"I'm here to say no one should be moved at this time with the current uncertainty. We're moving in the wrong direction folks," Williams said.

RELATED | Some homeless residents refuse to move from Midtown hotel

But the city says anyone in a shelter should get vaccinated as the city will continue to provide support for the underlying causes of homelessness, like physical mental and health challenges.

"And we have been persistently making vaccination available to all people who are in any of our facilities, and we will continue to do so," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "So, we're convinced that is the right approach."

national geographic covid newsletter sign up

national geographic covid newsletter sign up

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE

New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Submit a News Tip or Question