TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | APRIL 8-14, 2022 12
Mayor Adams and his administration are stuck in a no-win, must-win situation when it comes to combating homelessness.
Photo by Dean Moses
Mayor Adams is getting a lot of pushback about his
decision to lift the vaccine mandate on athletes
and entertainers before lifting the vaccine mandate
on city workers. However, his decision confirms
the importance and value he places on city workers
to keep the city running on a day-to-day basis.
There would be no sports or other live entertainment
contributing to the city’s economy without NYC workers
The venue that workers operate in is also important in
assessing the mayor’s decision.
Athletes and entertainers operate on baseball fields,
stages and basketball courts, and not in direct contact
with their audiences, who make a personal choice to attend.
On the other hand, the city employees’ venue is the
whole city, and, in most cases, citizens encounter city employees
in a far more extensive range, such as in offices,
on transportation, on the streets, in their homes and in
hospitals, and, most times, without optional choice.
The vaccine mandate not only protects citizens; it
also protects city employees. Without the mandate, many
more NYC workers might have been lost, unavailable or
incapacitated when the city needed them most.
Judging from the high percentage of city employees
who have been vaccinated, that response indicates most
city workers understand the importance of getting vaccinated
not only to keep the city operating, but also to keep
themselves, their families and fellow workers safe.
No-win and must-win
“Look at this condition a fellow New Yorker was living
in,” Mayor Eric Adams said last week while pointing to
a photo of 500 hypodermic syringes found at a homeless
encampment site dismantled last week.
Adams made the point while defending his administration’s
efforts to remove more than 100 encampments erected on city
streets by individuals with no other place to go. He shook off accusations
that the efforts were an inhumane answer to a complex
problem, and underscored that doing something was better than
doing nothing at all.
“I am supposed to allow this to stay?” the mayor asked reporters.
“I am supposed to act like I don’t see this? This is dignity? This
is how we treat fellow New Yorkers?”
Adams makes a great point. The questions he asked are those
which we’ve asked ourselves time and time again in recent years
as homelessness spiked in our city, and nothing was done to stop
How could we have allowed this to happen for so long? Why
did we normalize the sight of homeless individuals erecting shanties
on streets and below elevated highways? Why do we treat
homeless individuals more as an inconvenience than as people in
crisis who need our help?
Adams announced a handful of Safe Haven options where
those impacted by the encampment crackdown can go to for help,
but still, too many of these displaced individuals are being told to
head over to a city-run shelter.
Homeless individuals have told us of horrific experiences of
abuse and crime in these shelters, to the point where they simply
have no trust that they’re any safer in a shelter than they are on
The mayor acknowledged that the city has much to do to build
trust among homeless individuals and get them off the streets.
While the encampment sweep might be necessary to help clean
up the streets, it’s doubtful that it did anything in the way of rebuilding
Mayor Adams and his administration are stuck in a no-win,
must-win situation when it comes to combating homelessness.
People cannot live on the streets of this city in makeshift hovels,
but they also cannot be forced to take up shelter in unsafe places.
Adams should follow the advice of homeless advocate Shams
DaBaron, and seek state funding for the rapid conversion of underutilized
hotel spaces into safe, supportive housing for homeless
Make these new residences homes, not warehouses, for homeless
people. Offer services to help homeless New Yorkers get back
on their feet and live stable lives in safety.
If the Adams administration can offer that to homeless New
Yorkers, they will have done a world of good while restoring the
city’s moral compass in the direction of compassion and justice.
V.P. OF ADVERTISING
Reporters: Jenna Bagcal, Ethan
Marshall, Carlotta Mohamed, Julia
Moro, Bill Parry
Copy Editor: Katrina Medoff
ART & PRODUCTION
Art Director: Nirmal Singh
Layout: Zach Gewelb
Senior Account Executive:
HOW TO REACH US
MAIL: 45-17 Marathon Parkway, Little Neck, NY 11362
PHONE: Display Advertising: (718) 260-4537
Editorial: (718) 260-8303
WEBSITE: Visit www.qns.com
E-MAIL: Editorial: email@example.com
Display Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org
TO SUBSCRIBE: Call (718) 260-2515
MAYOR ADAMS IS RIGHT TO LIFT
VACCINE MANDATE FOR SOME