Taking deliveries, sleeping in stairs: Residents say homeless taking over NYCHA building

Dan Krauth Image
Friday, July 23, 2021
Residents say homeless taking over NYCHA building
Residents who live in a Bronx NYCHA apartment building say homeless people have taken over since the pandemic started

MOTT HAVEN, Bronx (WABC) -- They're taking food deliveries and eating them, sleeping in stairwells and arguing with cleaning crews. Residents who live in a Bronx NYCHA apartment building say homeless people have taken over since the pandemic started.

"Welcome to my world," said longtime resident Kecia Rampersant. "This is reality."

Some residents at St. Mary's Park Houses say they're now installing their own motion detection cameras outside their doors to know what they're getting into before stepping into the hallway.

In one case over the past few weeks, they captured a man taking someone else's food delivery, eating it in the hallway and then lighting up a cigarette. In another, they captured video of what appears to be two homeless people arguing with a cleaning woman. They were angry she woke them up as they were sleeping in the stairwell.

"I'm living in fear because I don't know on the day to day who's going to come out of the staircase when I'm coming out or who's going to jump out of the staircase when I'm going in," said Rampersant. "Come on now, we need help, we really need help."

7 On Your Side Investigates has covered numerous homeless issues over the past year. Complaints to 311 are up this year compared to last.

You can search your neighborhood for homeless complaints here:

"We all need help, but this right here, one person isn't going to do it, but I'm trying," said Rampersant.

She said she has called NYCHA management repeatedly who, she says, tells her to call police.

"I call the police and when they do come and make them leave, but as soon as they drive off they're coming back," she said.

At St. Mary's Park Houses, both entrances to the building don't lock properly and the doors remain open.

After reaching out to the city, they told 7 On Your Side they took action.

"The front door was repaired to prevent trespassers and the NYPD housing police unit and NYCHA staff continue to work in close collaboration to address this issue," a NYCHA Spokesperson said in a statement.

But residents like Rampersant worry a door repair isn't all that is needed to fix the problem in the long run.

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