NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - In exclusive video taken by Fox 5, a bulldozer scooped away mounds of mattresses, clothing and other items from an abandoned area below street level in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. The action came a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio toured the site, and told the Daily News a homeless encampment like that has no business in the city.
Police were on hand as they cleared away the items, which also included dozens of used hypodermic syringes. That is evidence that the secluded location was a popular shooting gallery for drug abusers who sometimes went way too far.
An estimated 15 to 20 men lived in the encampment. The city's Department of Homeless Services says five men requested shelter and services. In a statement, DHS said "We have set aside beds for the individuals living here and are working closely with the NYPD and Sanitation to quickly, and safely, clean up the area."
The president of the coalition for the homeless, Mary Brosnahan, said that this does not represent the vast majority of homeless, most of whom are not drug abusers and are just suffering in silence.
The city reportedly plans to bust up dozens of other similar encampments in other neighborhoods.