A loyal Forum reader on Sunday emailed a letter to us along with four supporting photos (due to space constraints, we’ve included two of the images here):

“I boarded the E train on Saturday morning to see the following; people on one side of a subway car due to people sleeping. We live in one of the wealthiest cities in the world. These people need help; mental and housing. Our mayor’s work ethic is substandard. He is only interested in self promoting and paying off political contributors. There is no good reason for conditions [such] as these.”

Michael Sturm

Richmond Hill


To say that we agree with Mr. Sturm would probably be one of the understatements of the millennium. We have been shouting from southern Queens rooftops for months: Something needs to be done about the panhandlers – especially on Cross Bay Boulevard at the intersections of Rockaway Boulevard/Liberty Avenue; something needs to be done with the City’s love affair with using borough hotels as “temporary” shelters.

Our fearless mayor last month unveiled a 114-page “vision” for attacking the homeless crisis – which he seemed to blame on his predecessors going back 30 years. However, said attack left much to be desired in the way of immediacy:

“Launch a reimagined shelter strategy that will: Completely eliminate the use of cluster apartment units by the end of 2021 and commercial hotel facilities by the end of 2023; reduce the current number of shelter sites by 45 percent; and keep homeless New Yorkers closer to their communities and supports that they need. Additionally, prevention and rehousing initiatives will reduce the current number of homeless New Yorkers in shelter by 2,500 people over five years.”

We’ll get our hands around this profound issue…within the next five to seven years.

The homeless crisis is affecting many borough communities. These images are Exhibits A and B.

“Our mayor’s work ethic is substandard.”

Something needs to be done.


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