Mike Bloomberg Opened Homeless Shelters on the Upper West Side. Gasp!

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Not all Upper West Siders have this attitude. Just most of them.
The U.S. economy is in the shitter, and with that comes high unemployment, which, naturally leads to more homeless people. So in response to the spike in homelessness, Mayor Mike Bloomberg has set up homeless shelters in some of New York City's pricier neighborhoods.

And who lives in New York's pricey neighborhoods? Rich people, that's who -- most of whom don't seem too thrilled with their new neighbors or the mayor's decision to give them glamorous new mailing addresses without neighborhood consent.

Bloomberg -- who by our count currently owns 11 homes -- said in August that, "We have made our shelter system so much better that, unfortunately, when people are in it, or, fortunately, depending on what your objective is, it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before."

In other words, New York City's homeless shelters perhaps are becoming too nice -- so nice that people don't want to leave.

This, apparently, is a problem for the haves in New York's wealthier areas..

The Associated Press interviewed some residents in some of the glitzier areas where Bloomberg has "cut through the bureaucracy" and opened homeless shelters.

Below are some of the whinier assessments of the aforementioned neighborhoods' residents -- some of whom claim they've seen a spike in panhandling and public urination.

-"It sort of felt almost like a bomb landing," said Gwynne Rivers, a mother of three who lives near a new shelter for homeless adults on the city's Upper West Side. "We just have lots of concerns about safety. And no one really seemed to care about what we thought."

-"There definitely seem to be more people hanging around the street corners, at the subway stops, panhandling," said Jen Zunt, a mother of a fifth-grader at P.S. 75. "There's not enough supervision. And these are going to be people who have mental health issues, possibly."

-"We all have kids walking to the park to play soccer," Zunt said. "I have a 14-year-old daughter who goes on her own to school and goes to chorus. And, you know, that's really scary."

People down on their luck relegated to begging for change! The horror!

Not all Upper West Siders are homeless-hating crusaders against charity and public pissing, though -- we spoke to a friend who lives about three blocks from a homeless shelter near 95th Street and Broadway. She says the Bloomberg-sponsored homeless invasion of her neighborhood isn't the end of the world.

"You just deal with it," she says. "None of these people want to be living in a homeless shelter anymore than we want a homeless shelter right in our backyard. . . . There are beggers and pissers -- but they're usually polite."

The reality is this: A homeless "bomb" didn't go off near 95th and Broadway -- the economy just sucks, people are out of work, and these are the consequences. There are homeless people everywhere -- and the overwhelming majority of them aren't plotting and scheming to rape and murder your 14-year-old soccer player.

This is New York in a bad economy. You're just gonna have to deal with it -- even if you live on the Upper West Side.

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8 comments
badtzjack
badtzjack

The middle class has been rubbed out in America.  What is left are the rich and the poor.  So the people living on the Upper West Side are considered the rich.  If you don't like the shelters near you, too bad.  Deal with it.  It could easily happen to YOU.

There are actually a lot of homeless who are decent folk that lost their jobs and their places to live.  And since the job market is non-existent, due to all the merging of companies years ago and the all-too-fast embracing of technology, it is very difficult even trying to find a fast food job. All the smart asses that made fun of "flipping burgers" are now waiting around the block for minimum wage work or welfare.

Your "let them eat cake" attitudes are sickening, and if these had been the good old days centuries ago, your heads would be on the chopping block.

You refuse to help your own American poor, while you suck up to psychos in other countries that hate America.  I don't know how you think when they take over (and the way things are going, they will) that you will be saved because you kissed their butts, but you will be the first to go down.

If only America's poor had the courage of the old times: start a Revolution. This country needs it, people! When you're on the street, what else is there to lose?

UWSider
UWSider

James, have you BEEN to the West 90s? One of the highest concentrations of supportive housing in the city? (Don't take my word for it. Take the borough president's office report's word for it: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb7/downloads/pdf/sro_presentation.pdf). The West 90s is not an enclave of "rich people" as the facile AP article suggested -it is mostly middle class New Yorkers with a much higher than usual concentration of low-income residents in subsidized housing. Many of the people complaining are SRO residents who are being forced out of long-term affordable housing because crooked landlords can get a lot more from the city for taking in homeless people whether they have the appropriate supportive services or not. How many addicts and homeless has the city moved on to your block? They are looking at 700 for West 94th and 95th Streets, on top of over 1000 within about 10 square blocks. They are not "probably" going to have mental health problems; it is "definitely." On 94th Street the St Louis facility is being renovated specifically to house dual diagnosis mentally ill and chemically dependent men. As far as those "whiny" mothers -the city has placed Megan's Law sex offenders across the street from the school. I'm not even a parent and I'm appalled. Still complaining about those horrible "rich" people? Please check your facts before you judge others.

Tooter
Tooter

The Upper Westside has a disproportionate amount of homeless housing - thus many of the reasonable complaints.  The latest homeless housing was completed as a part of an "emergency" move which means that no planning or community involvement was necessary.  The former head of the DHS owns the buildings and is now making $3,300 *per room* rather than the $700 per room when it was an SRO.  Report on the facts please.

jack
jack

The white middle class has become beyond detestable. I hope one of those so called "bums" pisses on the doorstep of some bougie twats townhouse.

BloomMan
BloomMan

Put those homeless shelter on the Westside & Eastside of Manhattan. I'm tired of them putting them all n the Bronx.

JAF90
JAF90

great scheme on bloomberg part to get property value down

swayneharris
swayneharris

@villagevoice 3....2...1....here come the protests........

RabbitRobot
RabbitRobot

Yup.  This is the point.  Obvs, James is ignorant of the Fair Share law in the City Charter, and doesn't understand why circumvention of this process is a bad thing.  UWS has a broad range of shelters, projects, SROs and other subsidized housing, and we're fine with doing our part.  Plenty of permanent or temporary homeless around, and nobody really has an issue.

 

However, when other communities can dump their Fair Share on our community, it *is* a problem - particularly when they dodge a lawful process meant to ensure that their neighborhood services will bear the same brunt to provide for this population as ours do.

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