Protesters claim de Blasio's treatment of homeless is 'downright cruel'

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- They marched from the Upper West Side to Gracie Mansion on Sunday afternoon with dozens of angry protesters who claim Mayor de Blasio's treatment of those experiencing homelessness is downright cruel.

"It's a disgrace. People get comfortable - you cannot just keep moving people all over the place," said Legacee Medina.

Medina used to live in a shelter. She knows that getting bounced around from place to place is the worst policy for those most vulnerable.

ALSO READ | Protest held in support of residents displaced by NYC homeless move

Earlier this summer, the city moved hundreds from shelters into three luxury hotels on the Upper West Side. It triggered a heated backlash from residents who complain the lack of supervision and help has destroyed their quality of life, citing an uptick in crime, public urination, open prostitution and drugs.

Others, though, argue just the opposite - that these people deserve a roof over their heads like everyone else.

"There are also many who want to keep the people at the Lucerne, and that is who is rallying around us today," said City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal.

Larry Thomas says this will be his fifth move.

"I started in Brooklyn, wound up on 3rd Street, 51st street, over here. Now they talk about move us down there. We're tired of being used as cattle, political pawns," Thomas said.

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