We have raised $275 so far. $99 has been handed off to Alphonso for him to survive including food, toiletries, notary and various court fees for his cases against the City. We have documented this the best we could from the photos below.
Finally DHS has been giving out masks so we are switching our fundraising right now solely so Alphonso can self-isolate in a hotel. Please give if you can. Also we are being sent 30 masks by a comrade’s relative and will distribute those soon. Stay tuned!
The situation regarding COVID-19 is dire in New York City’s homeless shelters. 239 shelter residents have tested positive as of Sunday, April 5. 12 have died, including 11 unsheltered. 392 are in isolation units, of which there are only 500 available. Yet, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and New York State Governor Cuomo continue to ignore the recommendations of advocate organizations to swiftly move shelter residents to the over 100,000 vacant hotel rooms in New York City.
Yesterday I heard from someone inside a women’s shelter that people showing symptoms are being ignored. This person had this to say:
“Just saw a woman who looks like she’s wasting away. Haven’t seen her in over a week. She can barely walk. Wearing mask, walking extremely slow. In room with another woman who is sick and hacking her guts out. I told her to call EMS and go to ER.”
According to this person this shelter is continuing to bring in new clients and there is no sanitizer, wipes, gloves or alcohol.
On top of that people are not getting enough food. According to one resident:
“We can’t get deliveries, if places deliver. The corner store raised prices: sandwich that was $8 is now over $10. Not everyone has money. Can’t buy groceries, can’t cook. EVERYONE here is HUNGRY! No deliveries of supplies. Haven’t eaten since this morning at breakfast: plastic container of cheerios. Shelter is rationing food.”
While Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and London have secured hotel rooms for their homeless populations, New York City continues to endanger our houseless family as more and more get sick. How many more deaths will it take for Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo to house our homeless?
The COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the four homeless shelters on Wards Island in New York City as Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio refuse to test, isolate and treat our houseless family. According to The City, “As of Monday, 120 residents across 60 city shelter locations had contracted COVID-19. Four have died.” There is no social distancing in the shelters. There is no COVID-19 testing, isolating and treating in the shelters. In one homeless shelter on Wards Island there is plenty of unused empty space on three floors that could be immediately used for social distancing and isolating.
Empty area on 6th floor of HELP Myers shelter on Wards Island Empty area on 7th floor of HELP Myers shelter on Wards Island Empty area on 8th floor of HELP Myers shelter on Wards Island
HELP USA is the operator of the four homeless shelters on Wards Island. It was created in 1986 by Andrew Cuomo himself while his sister, Maria Cuomo Cole, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
If they are the operator, why have they done next to nothing to save the people’s lives they are entrusted with, except to put up a few flyers? The price of inaction is death.
Flyer in a HELP Myers shelter on Wards Island Flyer in a HELP Myers shelter on Wards Island
I called HELP USA at 212-400-7000 and got a voice message that gave me another number: 845-764-3275. A person named Cynthia picked up the phone and I told her about the situation on Wards Island. Her first response was “The office is closed and I can have someone call you back”. I said, “I don’t think you understand the seriousness of the situation”
“I don’t work with Wards Island so I can’t do anything”, said Cynthia
And then after I raised my voice telling her that people will die she said,
“I will send an email out to all staff”.
The following pictures show open garbage bins and a bag on the floor spilling out garbage in this shelter, as well as a client walking barefoot and a shelter employee who is pregnant.
Spilt garbage on 8th floor of the HELP Myers shelter on Wards Island Client walking in bare feet in the HELP Myers shelter on Wards Island Pregnant worker at a shelter on Wards Island Open garbage bin on 8th floor of HELP Myers shelter on Wards Island
The disregard of human life by Cuomo, DeBlasio, HELP USA and the New York City Department of Homeless Services is astounding. They want them to die. As one client told me, “It’s a death sentence. For real.”
All photos were taken April 2, 2020.
Sign the petition that sends an email directly to Cuomo, DeBlasio and HELP USA CEO Tom Hamerline.