By Ziair Hughes
In New York there is a lot of poverty just like in California. Almost on every block you will see someone houseless. Eric Adams, the mayor of New York, is “finding a solution to homelessness.” He has ordered many sweeps and has spent millions on police and sanitation workers. He also said he would put 171 million towards shelters— instead, it went to sweeps and more. But he's “helping” homelessness.
On Tuesday we went to Caltrans to deliver our F.O.I.As ( FREEDOM OF IMFORMATION ACT) to find out the budget of these sweeps. Here are some of the speakers:
“Are they housing people, are they feeding people?” said John Janasko (resident from Wood Street) when talking about Caltrans, referring to the sweeps that they’re doing. No, they are not feeding people or housing them, and we can obviously see that every time Caltrans interacts with encampments, they terrorize the residents by sweeping them, power washing and taking their belongings.
“Caltrans has shown reckless negligence in their actions,” said Delphine. Caltrans says they only throw away trash, but a lot of Wood Street residents have lost important personal items such as, IDs, birth certificates, and wheelchairs from Caltrans moving carelessly.
“In the sweeps I lost pictures of my daughter that I don't get to see,” said T.J Johnson from Coalition On Homelessness. This is an example of reckless negligence.
poLice at Caltrans sweep of Wood Street residents
The action at Oakland Caltrans is very similar to the actions of Mayor Adams of New York. He announced a plan to involuntarily remove mentally ill people from the city's streets and hospitalize those who cannot care for themselves, but some experts have expressed skepticism. Nobody should be forced to get off the streets and put into rehabs while having a mental illness. That, to me, is very evil. One of my teachers said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink,” meaning you can give someone an opportunity but not force them to take it.
New York is one of the most famous states in my opinion and it always attracts newcomers, now every state has a suburb/tourist area. New York has a couple places like that, and if New York has poverty and homelessness everywhere, that's not going to attract tourists.
What Mayor Adams is doing is actually propaganda faking for the camera to push his agenda. Once again, all the money he put towards destroying and sweeping houseless people's homes could have at least gone to buying apartments/hotels and homes— that’s the real solution. Council members, mayors, and Presidents of all states try to overlook the solution when it’s in fact a very easy formula to help stop homelessness.