Mayor Eric Adams reveals homeless drug den and vows more searches

Mayor Eric Adams revealed a shocking photo of a homeless camp littered with around 500 used syringes as he vowed on Wednesday to continue crackdown on makeshift shelters across the city.

“Look at this condition!” said a clearly annoyed Adams during a press conference at City Hall.

“And I’m supposed to pretend I don’t see that?”

The unidentified location is among 244 locations where homeless people have lived in public, Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi said.

Officials have cleaned up 239 of them since an interagency task force began conducting sweeps about a week ago, Joshi said.

Just five people who lived at the sites agreed to move to the Bronx city’s new “safe haven,” Adams said.

But he predicted many more would follow once they see a new brochure showing the rooms there.

Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams pledged to continue cracking down on makeshift homeless shelters in the city.
Paul Martinka

Adams pointed to similar efforts to get the homeless off the subways, which resulted in just 22 people getting off the trains in the first week.

That number has since grown to over 300, he said.

“This is the first inning of our nine-inning game,” the mayor said. “When this game is over we will have a city that is far better than the dysfunctional city that we have experienced for far too long.”

Photo tweeted by Mayor Eric Adams about the cleanup of homeless camps.
The city has created a new “safe haven” in the Bronx.
New York Mayor’s Office

Adams also drew a clear line between his efforts and those of his predecessor, saying, “I’m not sure what he did.”

“That was the previous government. There’s a new government and the mayor’s name isn’t Bill de Blasio, his name is Eric Adams,” he said.

Also during the news conference, an NYPD official said the tree-dwelling homeless man arrested Monday after allegedly assaulting a Post reporter and Post photographer was hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation.

Photo tweeted by Mayor Eric Adams about the cleanup of homeless camps.
The city has cleaned 239 camps since the cleanup began last week.
New York Mayor’s Office

Mad “Squirrel Man” Rewell Altunaga, 44, returned to his tree stand at Riverbank State Park in Upper Manhattan after being released following his arraignment on the alleged assaults.

But the tree house, covered with a tarp, was taken down Wednesday morning and he was placed in an ambulance and taken to Harlem Hospital, the NYPD said.

Three other homeless people were also hospitalized with apparent mental illnesses, and four people were issued subpoenas to build buildings on public property, NYPD Deputy Chief Brian McGinn said.

Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor Adams said his government has pulled more than 300 homeless people out of the subway system.
Paul Martinka

The 10 boroughs in Patrol Borough Manhattan South had the largest concentration of homeless encampments — 85 — but there were no homeless families or children among those displaced during the cleanup, McGinn said.

In Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood, a notice released by the Department of Homeless Services warned that sanitation workers would be cleaning up around the subway entrance on Smith and Warren streets on Wednesday.

“There’s a homeless person sitting on the subway every day,” said the owner of the nearby Smith Street Barber Shop.

“He has neither a tent nor a box, he puts things over himself – blanket, cardboard. He hasn’t been here for the past few days.” Mayor Eric Adams reveals homeless drug den and vows more searches


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