NYC trying to get homeless people out of the subway system

New York City officials are creating more so-called Safe Haven beds in an effort to get homeless people out of the subway system during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says 200 new beds will be offered this week and prioritized for people living on the streets and subways.

The subway system has a homeless problem in the best of times and during the coronavirus pandemic, the problem seems to have gotten worse.

Ridership has plunged by up to 90% and homeless people have taken over normally packed subway cars.


The city is also focusing on 10 end-of-the-line subway stations with the goal of bringing more unsheltered New Yorkers off the subways.

Outreach teams will look for homeless people and attempt to connect them to services and shelter.


The city is also asking the MTA to temporarily close the 10 stations from midnight to 5 a.m. daily to allow for more targeted outreach and enhanced sanitization.

The targeted stations include:

  • Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue D,F
  • Flatbush Ave Brooklyn College 2,5
  • Jamaica – 179th St. F
  • Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer E
  • WTC - E
  • 96th St./2nd Ave (Q)
  • Pelham Bay Park 6
  • Van Cortlandt Park 242nd St. 1
  • Wakefield – 241st St. 2,5
  • Woodlawn 4

When the train is cleaned at the end of the line, the MTA requires all individuals to exit the train, and the homeless people who were on the train will be offered service by NYPD Homeless Outreach.


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DHS Outreach teams and NYPD Homeless Outreach will be on hand to engage all unsheltered individuals who are utilizing or leaving the subways about accepting services, survey them for any symptoms, and connect them to care, to isolation, or to shelter as needed

To date, outreach teams have conducted more than 17,000 COVID-19 interactions.

12 individuals expressed having had COVID-like symptoms and were transported to care and assessment. At this time, these referrals have not resulted in any positive cases.