Cindy Rodriguez is the Urban Policy reporter for New York Public Radio.
NYC Sued for Inadequate Homeless Shelters
Thursday, December 10, 2009
New York, NY –
A lawsuit alleges the city is not providing proper shelter to single homeless people as required by the courts.
The lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Society on behalf of homeless New Yorkers and their advocates accuses the city of not addressing the rising number of homeless single adults coming into the shelter system. And now, it alleges, men and women are sleeping on benches, tables, chairs and the floors of intake centers.
Patrick Markee, from Coalition for the Homeless says around 2 a.m. Wednesday about 50 men were stuck at the Bellevue Intake Center on Manhattan's East Side.
"A lot of these were older men, men with physical and mental health problems, men who were there seeking shelter," Markee says.
Markee says as the weather gets colder the problem will only get worse. The Department of Homeless Services is sharply disputing the allegations and says adults that sleep at intake centers likely missed a 10 p.m. curfew and then refused a bed at a different shelter.
As of Tuesday, there were close to 7,000 homeless adults staying in city shelters.