Disturbing photos show homeless people shooting and dealing drugs in broad daylight in New York City’s fabled Garment District near Penn Station, while crime in the area has risen 41 percent since last year.
Witnesses within the 24-block radius between 34th and 41st Streets and west of 6th Avenue said: The New York Post that the streets are “strewn with used needles, broken glass breaking pipes, garbage, urine and feces.”
‘I have personally seen dozens of deals come to an end. I saw an OD and almost died,” a neighbor said on social media, according to the NYC newspaper.
“This is the worst this block has ever been,” another neighbor wrote in his social media post, The Post reported. “People live here, and despite reporting and begging the NYPD to patrol this block more, they’re doing nothing to try and get these dealers.”
A homeless person smokes Saturday on 8th Avenue near Port Authority in Manhattan
A homeless person has a lighter and a pipe on 8th Avenue near Penn Station.
A homeless man carries a garbage bag on 32nd Street near Penn Station on September 25
A homeless person begs for food or money near Penn Station on Sept. 25
A homeless man reads in front of a church on 32nd Street while begging for food
A beggar in a wheelchair on 8th Avenue is among the homeless who have gathered in New York City’s Garment District
Garment District Alliance President Barbara Blair told The Post that they are “appalled and disgusted” by the drug use and “other illicit behavior taking place on our sidewalks in Midtown Manhattan and throughout New York City.”
“We have fought to end this crisis, but unfortunately our city officials have not addressed the problem and have allowed this public order to continue,” Blair said.
The Garment District Alliance has signed contracts with Urban Pathways in recent years in an ongoing effort to provide appropriate assistance to those in need, the Garment District Alliance said in its statement. website.
“As part of the contract with the Alliance, a team from Partnership for the Homeless monitors the streets every weekday and two weekend days a month.
“In addition to engaging clients, the outreach team assesses individual needs, provides referral options and helps clients make decisions that will lead them to life off the street. The services offered include transportation and referral to hospitals, shelters, municipal social services, rehab centers and drug treatment programs.”
A man begs for food at a pizzeria on 8th Avenue on September 25
Homeless ride the subway
Homelessness Has Devastated New York City’s Garment District
Police can be seen here on Sept. 25, but neighbors told The New York Post there is no consistent police presence
Homelessness in the area has been a problem for years but has been increasing in recent months, with people not even trying to hide their drug use.
Neighbors say police presence remains scarce, and outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio has been criticized for “coddling addicts” and not working to get the drugs off the streets.
Crime in the Midtown South Precinct, which also includes the Garment District, is up 41 percent this year through Sept. 19 compared to the same period in 2020, according to research. NYPD Crime Data.
The most notable spikes are robberies – which increased by 189 percent from 97 to 280 – and crimes – which increased by 151 percent from 131 to 329.
The number of shooting victims rose from one to ten and hate crimes rose from three to 27.
The Garment District Alliance insists that long-term solutions are needed; instead of taking a band-aid approach.
“The Alliance believes that permanent housing, coupled with appropriate health and social services, is the best way to tackle this problem,” the group said on its website.
Police can be seen on 8th Avenue on Sept. 25, but local residents said they needed more active police
Two homeless people – one in a wheelchair – talking on 8th Avenue on September 25
The Garment District – which includes this intersection of 33rd Street and 8th Avenue near Penn Station – is plagued by homelessness and drug use
‘To this end, the Garment District Alliance works closely with the Street to Home Initiative, which shares this philosophy. In recent years, our efforts have resulted in several individuals being included in their own apartments, and several more included in other social services that also help provide permanent housing for the homeless.
“But we know there is more to do, and we continue to advocate for meaningful solutions to this tragic problem affecting neighborhoods in Midtown as well as cities across the country.”