Residents of the homeless shelter are forced to neighbor the coronavirus carriers, even without protective masks

11 months ago

Residents of the Bellevue Homeless shelter have to sleep on the floor next to coronavirus carriers and people smoking K2, while most of the shelter beds are not used, said residents of The Post

Virtually nothing has changed since city officials ordered the orphanage on 30th Street on Friday, after The Post published shocking pictures of homeless people who used to sleep on the subway and now lie on the floor and stairs of the orphanage, and many without masks.

Stephen Banks of the Department of Social Services called the pictures “unacceptable”, saying that the shelter could “work better”. He may not have realised that the shelter is not really overcrowded, just as it seems from the outside. What’s really going on is much worse. Some people sleep alone in the upstairs rooms, where there are 4-5 more beds, all in order to adhere to the rules of social distance, which had the opposite effect. “Nothing makes sense here,” said Barry Washington (51), who prefers a subway shelter. “They have empty beds upstairs, but half of us sleep on the floor. They don’t check to see if anyone’s sick, but I can tell you there are sick people. I’ve seen guys coughing and they’re shaking. They have red eyes, and it’s not the drugs.” On Sunday, shelter guards opened part of the main hall and moved a few men who had no place to sleep, said shelter tenant Abraham Grendsult (34).

“This is ridiculous,” said Derek Jackson, director of law enforcement at Teamsters Local 237, who blames the NYPD for trying to clear the subway. “They’ve been socially distancing themselves in their rooms, but they’ve left the homeless in the lobby. They solved one problem by creating another. These people should not suffer if they arrive later than 10 p.m. and do not get a bed”. Residents say health security measures are just a mockery, even though Mayor Bill de Blasio claims otherwise.

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