Amid criticism, NYC Mayor Eric Adams defends policy of clearing homeless encampments in the city

New York City Mayor Eric Adams defended his decision to clear the city of homeless encampments in an interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC this week, saying one homeless advocate had made a “conscious decision” to be homeless so she could get housing.

When Lehrer played Adams a 30-second audio clip of homeless New York City resident Synthia Vee, who explained her reluctance to sleep in city shelters, which homeless people have continuously said are dangerous, Adams put the blame on Vee for having nowhere to sleep.

“As the young woman stated, she doesn’t have mental health issues,” Adams said. “She made a conscious decision that she wanted to live on the street because she wanted housing.” 

Adams’ policy of clearing homeless encampments involves NYPD officers discarding tents, blankets and other belongings from homeless tent areas in the city. Some have criticized the policy as cruel and poorly thought out.

“Once again, Mayor Adams is demonstrating his lack of understanding of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers,” said Jacquelyn Simone, Policy Director for the Coalition for the Homeless.

“His administration has no plan to provide safe, single rooms where they can stay inside, and is relying instead on the tired and cruel old tactic of chasing those without shelter out of Manhattan.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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