Monday, December 30, 2019

Roosevelt Island Homeless Using Riverwalk Commons Bench To Defecate Says Southtown Resident - It's A Health Hazard, RIOC Does Nothing And A Public Discussion Needed Say Residents

Last Friday, a Roosevelt Island Southtown resident took this picture of human excrement

on a Riverwalk Commons bench and sidewalk noting:
... This is a significant health hazard for the public community....
The feces remained thru at least Sunday afternoon,

before being washed away by the rain.

Another Southtown resident reported on Saturday:
The last four days as I have been leaving the island, there has been human excrement on the seats of the benches that flank the walk to the subway.

Apparently a number of homeless have stopped using the bushes due to the rat population and are now using the benches at night.

This is what we're up against with a growing homeless population and no social service to speak of. The same gentleman (who was seen doing this) spit at me Wednesday, ...  he screamed, "what, you too good for me now?" He also urinated in front of a young child, and became menacing when asked by the parent not to. Public safety declined to take any action, under DeBlasio's policy of not intervening unless they witness the event. video/pictures are not sufficient.

RIOC has done nothing to clean. There is also accumulating litter to the north of 475, and the cigarette butts in the Commons between 425 and 455 are in the thousands last time i photographed.

The dog run is never cleaned, and more folk are not cleaning after their dogs elsewhere.

Cleaning is not a priority on this Island: the Commons is never cleaned, the area north of 475 is awash in litter, the fruit stand has grease stains and food that attract rats,

...  I pulled a boat load of Starbucks trash out of the West Garden yesterday (the reason we have rats).

RIOC saw fit to spend $225,000 on useless holiday decorations, but can't clean or re-plant damaged grounds.

I'm not sure how to approach this, but i believe some action (beginning with a public discussion) is preferable to none.
The homeless issue was discussed during October 22 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee (PSC) meeting with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety (PSD) Chief Kevin Brown and Deputy Chief Anthony Amoroso

UPDATE 9 PM - Comments from readers:
  • I have asked the homeless outreach team responsible for RI , to try to engage with the few homeless we have here. Sadly the homeless here are generally going to be 'hard to reach' and difficult to house/move on for various reasons. Stop and talk to them to find out why, they are all happy to chat (except the lady in black 😟) they are also happy to receive some food. We have no proof who 💩 on that bench ,it could have been someone drunk or an animal ?
  • We seem to have more homeless people in the train station! This needs to be a topic for discussion in our community.
  • Homelessness is a SEVERE health hazard for the homeless.
  • Maybe there should be more public restrooms?
UPDATE 12/31 - More reader comments:
  • A while back I asked a PSD officer what he was going to do about 2 homeless persons sleeping on the benches under the arcades. The answer was: As long as they don’t bother the others, we’re not doing anything about it. What do you think, PSD, are we bothered now?
  • I have seen a quite sick homeless man for long time. He is installed between the subway building and Starbucks, leaving dirty clothes and belongings on the Starbucks outdoor chairs and tables, so no more enjoying that for me.
  • That bum has been there since September. I have complained specifically to sbux. No action. I m going to start calling 311 soon. It is a disgraceful corporate policy to permit vagrants to domicile in the cafes. Nothing humane about it. They are mentally ill and should be removed. I don't care where to, just not sitting among paying customers. When public order is not maintained, your entire elected local and state government has failed. How these people use the franking privilege to boast about their dubious legislative achievements is beyond me. We also pay for our own 'public safety ' force, which is utterly ineffective. A pox on all their houses.
  • I hope you never find yourself in such circumstances.
  • BTW who do we speak with about all the people who let their animals pee and poop in the commons. There are kids and humans that lay down on the grass as well as play😣.The tiny no animals on the grass is not working. Perhaps some tickets are needed.
According to NYC Department of Homeless Services:
... What should I do if I see an individual or a group of individuals that appear to be street homeless?
For the most immediate response, New Yorkers who see individuals they believe to be homeless and in need should contact 3-1-1 via phone or mobile app and request outreach assistance. You should call 911 if the individual appears to pose an immediate risk to themselves or others or there is criminal activity.

What happens when I call 311 to report a homeless New Yorker in need of assistance?
  • Individual calls 311 and a Service Request (SR) is created
  • SR is evaluated and assigned to a service provider or a partner Agency, like NYPD, as needed
  • If assigned to a service provider, outreach team is dispatched within an hour of receiving the request
  • Service provider outreach teams attempt to locate that individual and if found directly engage the individual, assess for safety and encourage them to accept services and transition off the streets.
How do outreach teams engage a homeless New Yorker in need of assistance?
Experienced outreach teams from not-for-profit service providers canvass the five boroughs 24/7/365 as part of our citywide effort to identify and engage individuals who may be homeless, encourage them to accept services, and ultimately help them transition off the streets. Additionally, DHS performs joint outreach operations with community stakeholders and Agency partners, including the NYPD, the Parks Department, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Department of Transportation to utilize each Agency's expertise, engage more New Yorkers, and offer more supports. Outreach teams have helped approximately 2,000 homeless New Yorkers off the streets citywide, thanks to new investments and a doubling of the size of those teams.

More from NYC Department of Homeless Services here.

UPDATE 11:40