Mayor Eric Adams vowed to clear homeless encampments from New York City streets in a two-week span.
According to Business Insider, Adams said, “There’s nothing dignified about people living in the streets.”
The mayor ordered police officers to clear tents, boxes and other makeshift homes from the city in an attempt to relocate New York’s homeless population into shelters, Yahoo! News reported.
In an interview with The New York Times, Adams said, “We’re going to rid the encampments off our streets and we’re going to place people in healthy living conditions with wraparound services.”
He continued, “We can’t stop an individual from sleeping on the street based on law, and we’re not going to violate that law, but you can’t build a miniature house made out of cardboard on the streets. That’s inhumane.”
According to Gothamist, only five people have accepted Adams’ invitation to stay in a city shelter.
Yahoo! News reported, activists and members of the homeless community say shelters subject individuals to unsafe and inhumane conditions.
The mayor’s latest move comes after he unveiled a plan to send NYPD into subway stations to clear the homeless people from transit hubs, ABC 7 reported.
Critics are comparing Adams to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani who criminalized sleeping on the street in the ’90s.
City Council Member Diana Ayala told Politico, “People have a right to be concerned and we have a responsibility to address those concerns, but we have to do it in a way that doesn’t take us back to the Giuliani era where we were solving every problem by locking up Black and brown folks and criminalizing poverty.”
Advocates who oppose Adams plan call his latest move “cruel” and tragic, Gothamist reported.