Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NYC Evacuation Centers Full Of Drugs, Feces And Hopelessness

The NY Times finally got somebody to visit a housing project and see how bad things are there post-Sandy, but as is usual with the privileged assholes who work for the Times, they blame the people in the projects for not leaving before the storm.

Never mind that people defied the mandatory evacuation orders in places like Battery Park City too.

Never mind that Bloomberg only gave the mandatory order seven and a half hours before the MTA shut down buses and trains.

And never mind that the hurricane evacuation centers Bloomberg is running in the city are Katrinaesque - full of drugs, crime and squalor:

Outside a high school building on West 49th Street, it smelled like marijuana. Inside, it smelled like a sewer. The stench was so horrible, even police officers wore masks.

For now, it's an evacuation shelter, but the plan for Monday is that it will also be a school.
When teachers walked in Friday, they were horrified.

"I was appalled at what I saw," said Alice O'Neil, a teachers' union representative. "I saw what is essentially an 1,100-person homeless shelter."

One man is captured on cell phone video urinating into a water fountain. A few feet away, there's human feces under a table in the crowded lunchroom. Upstairs, six of the seven floors have cots lining every hallway.

Some classrooms are labeled "for families," but there were no security checks, either at the main entrance or between the children and single adult residents. Many of the bathrooms were out of order. Volunteers said clothing was flushed down toilets. NY1 saw empty alcohol bottles.

"Honestly, I believe that it is worse than any of the homeless shelters out there," said one person.
Many, if not most, of the people staying in the shelter said they were homeless. Some were sympathetic to teachers' concerns over opening school at the same site.

"Now, I understand that you don't want your kids in a building with people that have records," said one person. "That's understandable. But where does the people like me go?"

"I think they should leave the school open for us because we need it," said another. "We're going through a really tough time and we need this."

There are also concerns over space.

"Like a can, like a tuna in a can," said one person. "We're too cramped up. There's no space. There's no space there."

Both the Commissioner of Homeless Services and the Schools Chancellor told NY1 things would be safe and sanitary for students and teachers.

"We're making sure that our students and our staff are safe and that they have sanitary conditions, and I have a high standard along that line," said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Oh, so now that students are coming back on Monday, Walcott is going to make sure everything is safe and sanitary.

How about when the city was using it as an evacuation center for storm victims?

Couldn't they have made sure it was safe and sanitary then too?

No wonder people in the projects didn't want to leave their homes when the mandatory evacuation orders were given seven and a half hours before the MTA shut down pre-Sandy last Sunday.

Given how the city is taking care of people in the shelters, would you have wanted to leave your home for that?

It's great that the NY Times finally decided to take the horrifying situations unfolding in the city projects seriously after days of ignoring them.

But they still don't seem to understand that even if the people in the projects had left home as ordered by Mr. Mayor just a few hours before the MTA shutdown last Sunday, they still weren't going to be taken care of by the city or by Bloomberg.

He doesn't care about these people - at all.

And neither, it seems, do the reporters at the NY Times, who continue to blame the people in the projects for not leaving pre-Sandy.

Call me when these same journalists blame the people in Battery Park City for doing the same.

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