Worsening Homelessness

The Story

Homelessness in the New York transit system has become so pervasive that Grand Central Station’s food court reports declining sales, likely the result of homeless people camping out there. Subway riders continue to see apparently mentally ill homeless people getting sick, lying on seats, and sometimes wandering onto train tracks. The MTA is starting a task force to address the crisis; the crisis is worsening, and bold action is needed.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Diversion: Mayor de Blasio has announced a diversion-based approach to dealing with the homeless problem, but New York already has the nation’s most robust program of services and alternatives to incarceration. Read more.

  2. Neglect: The city is neglecting its public spaces, allowing homelessness and antisocial behavior to take root. Read more.

  3. Serious: Funding for ineffective mental health programs could be diverted toward helping the seriously mentally ill homeless population. Read more.

“The occupation of public spaces such as the library by homeless people… is a distinctive affliction of the modern city.”

Stephen Eide, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Deinstitutionalizing the Mentally Ill By Manuel Trujillo, Fred Siegel, Paul Shectman, Michael Pawel, Myron Magnet, Heather Mac Donald, Charles Gunther, William Grinker, Aaron Biller, Martin Begun (Spring 1993)

“The City Journal invited several people who have been directly involved in Hogue’s case—from the neighborhood, Police Department, District Attorney’s Office, mental hospitals, and government agencies—to comment on Mac Donald’s article and to discuss reforming the care of the mentally ill in light of their needs and the needs of communities.”

And in other news...

“More than 900 New York City elementary school classrooms have tested positive for lead after inspections revealed the presence of peeling, chipped, or otherwise deteriorating lead paint, according to new data released Wednesday night by the education department.”