The city ordered a homeless couple that had put up an encampment on Broadway between 77th and 78th Street to vacate the premises this week. The couple had lived in the spot for months, according to Ken, our tipster.
The notice (seen below) says that the couple’s continued presence “may be illegal” and says that the space must be vacated so it can be cleaned. Their stuff had to be removed and placed in storage, the notice said. If not, it may be thrown out.
The city released a report last year that dealt with how it plans to deal with rising homelessness, which has been on the upswing for the last two decades. It explains on page 64 how the city deals with encampments, when homeless people create more permanent shelters outside. The de Blasio administration has been criticized for allowing encampments to persist, often in front of vacant stores. It’s difficult to determine the number of people who are living outside at any given time, though volunteers canvas the city one night a year in January to get a rough count.
After dismantling an encampment, “City agency personnel return to make sure that the encampment or pop-up is not reestablished,” the report says. “The City fully documents each clean-up and provides vouchers to individuals for any redeemable bottles and cans.” People can call 311 to report an encampment. It’s particularly dangerous for people to be living outside when it’s this cold, of course.