NEW YORK - Standing outside the Lucerne Hotel a year after New York City started moving homeless men out of shelters and into hotels for social distance, a group of advocates and lawmakers blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's final push to relocate the remaining 9,000 homeless residents and dozens of hotels back to shelters.
"Imagine being homeless and on top of that being shipped back and forth as if nobody cares with what's going on with your lives and being uprooted time and time again," Public Advocate Jumanne Williams said on Monday.
Homeless rights advocates are calling on the city and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to continue funding hotel stays until homeless residents can move directly into long-term housing rather than return to shelters in group settings.
Some are calling on the city to hold off on the move given the increase in cases resulting from the delta variant of the coronavirus. Less than 22% of those staying in homeless shelters are vaccinated, according to data from the city.
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Williams said that what is being mandated for municipal workers should also apply to those in the homeless shelter system.
"That's the direction that we have to go — either mandated vaccinations or mandated tests that are more than once a week," Williams said. "We have to push this now because it's a problem."