You wanna buy some crack? Bill de Blasio might’ve made it easy.
The New York City mayor — among other interesting moves — has decided to house the homeless in large unoccupied hotels in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Such is the case in an upscale part of Manhattan, where a bunch including the mentally ill and 10 sex offenders are livin’ it up in three luxury lodges.
Just one Upper West side inn’s been reportedly filled by 300 drug addicts.
And the program’s caused some problems — but only if you consider public drug use, catcalling, harassment, public urination, and an open offering of crack as things less than desired.
If not, everything’s tip-top.
At the Belleclaire on Broadway — home of the near-dozen sex offenders — the veneer of good politics is showing a crack.
Nanny Michele McDowall lamented to the Post:
“It doesn’t feel safe anymore.”
It’s particularly relevant where kids are concerned — the hotel’s just one block from a playground.
From the NYP:
She said she was recently offered crack by a pair of homeless men as she wheeled a toddler along Riverside Park at 79th Street.
“You want to buy crack?” she said they shouted repeatedly as she hurried past, and as the frightened 2-year-old girl in the stroller put her hands over her ears and cried, “Too loud!”
On Thursday, Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks said the plan to move homeless men from dorm-style shelters to a one-to-two-per-room vacay was all about improvement:
“In order to defuse that ticking time bomb, we implemented a massive emergency relocation of human beings from those congregate shelters throughout the city, more than 10,000 in about eight weeks.”
It was quite the expensive upgrade, in a hundreds-of-millions kind of way.
Reportedly, 75% was paid by FEMA, the rest by city taxpayers.
Meanwhile, de Blasio’s managed to cut the police budget by over a billion.
At 79th Street’s Lucerne — home of the 300 addicts — resident Angel Ortiz assured the Post, “[W]hatever drug you can imagine is done there.”
Another resident chimed in:
“They shoot up, sniff up, crack, (synthetic marijuana) K2, everything.”
A third pointed out, “You got drunks — you got violent drunks.”
As per the outlet, that last guy then paused to sling the following to someone strolling past:
“What’s up, momma? How you doing, pretty girl? Yo’ fine self. How you feel, baby girl? Pretty girl.”
Across the street, a restaurant owner complained that homeless drunken arguments are chasing away his customers.
“Screaming, forget about it. It’s like a jungle. They get drunk and they start fighting.”
And if he tells a few of them to take a hike:
“Already there are 20 around you. … They are now on Broadway. Everywhere. Everywhere. Sitting on the bench. Drinking. There is a liquor store. You see them go in and out, in and out, in and out and buying those liquor bottles.”
The nearby news stand’s been robbed three times.
Sounds like Bill de Blasio’s created a real doozy of a “solution.”
And there’s been a revolt: As relayed by NBC4, a neighborhood safety group’s been formed — Upper West Siders for Safer Streets.
Member Alison Morpurgo explained, “We want to see change. We want to see safer streets, but also we want to see people get the services they need, which clearly we’re not seeing here.”
But if New York’s homeless hotels really wanna make the news, they’re gonna have to show California what’s what: At one in San Diego last week, cops busted up a drug lab.
Keep tryin’, Big Apple.
You’re on the path to victory.
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