This is what Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “historic” success of clearing out the homeless from the subways looks like.
The above photo was taken from the Bellevue Men’s Shelter Tuesday night, hours after the mayor touted his office’s ability to get the homeless off the streets and into shelters where they’re “accepting help.”
It turns out that “help” includes curling up on a staircase or on the floor, mere inches from others amid a global pandemic, on makeshift, cardboard “beds.”
“They’re forcing these guys off the train to go here and staff at the single men’s intake is over run and these guys won’t get a bed in a lot of cases so they’re forced to sleep on the stairs and such which causes tension and unrest from being so close,” fumed a Department of Homeless Services police officer.
“As you can see, this is not social distancing.”
The Bellevue shelter is the initial intake center for homeless male adults seeking a place to sleep and the officer, who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said the haven has never looked like this before.
“Even during our coldest months of winter the shelters don’t look like this,” the veteran officer said.
“The beds that are extra at the men’s intake are reserved for overages for other shelters. Even a shelter that’s supposed to house 200 men can have on some days 10 to up to 25 [over].”
Thousands of single, homeless adults are being moved into hotel rooms using funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency but the officer said that’ll cause issues down the line as different shelters mix at single hotels.
“Clients that had problems with clients from the past might bump into other clients they don’t like or have bad blood with,” the officer said, adding it’ll lead to “wars” as many clients have been transferred as a result of disputes with one another.
“I feel sorry for the Midtown North and Midtown South precincts for the next couple of months,” the source said.
Further, many of the hotels will be in Times Square, which will bring the famed tourist hub back to 1970s-like conditions with floods of homeless congregating the area during the day, the source said.
“Clients will be ALL OVER Times Square,” the officer said.
The crowded shelter conditions comes after public outcry about homeless crowding the subways amid the pandemic forced the city to intervene and close the trains between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. in a historic shutdown.
The mayor and Human Resources Administration boss Steven Banks have repeatedly touted the initiative, saying Wednesday outreach workers were able to get 824 street homeless into the shelter system.
“A truly historic figure,” de Blasio said during his daily coronavirus press briefing.
Federal assessments estimate there’s between 3,500 and 4,000 street homeless in the five boroughs and the mayor’s initiatives to force them into shelters has only pushed them further into the shadows, Josh Dean of Human.NYC, a homeless advocacy group, previously told The Post.
“The mayor loves to talk about trust between outreach and homeless New Yorkers, but his actions right now are destroying that trust, perhaps irreparably,” he said previously.
“COVID has broken out in over 170 shelters and workers and staff and residents all do not have the PPE and social distancing is largely impossible,” Joseph Loonam, housing campaign coordinator for the homelessness group Vocal NY, added previously.
The Department of Homeless Services and the mayor’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Natalie Musumeci
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