A sign that homelessness in New York is out of control, the increase of people using the Roosevelt Island subway station as a place to sleep. Three different residents offer photos of the growing phenomenon.
By David Stone
New York’s Appalling Failure on Display in the Roosevelt Island Subway Station
As disgraceful as the extent of homelessness is in New York City, it’s duration emphasizes the utter cultural failure.
Over dinner at my friend’s apartment, I was clear about it. With homelessness at the forefront, I told him there was easily enough wealth in the city to cure all the gaps in providing decent living standards for everyone.
My friend, who worked on Wall Street, got a year end bonus that was bigger than my annual salary, but he was surprised. His biggest gripe was over the tax bite.
That was in 1995. Some things haven’t changed, and homelessness is one of them. One thing that hasn’t changed is the truth: No one ought to go hungry or end up sleeping in the Roosevelt Island subway station.
But in spite of all the political blather, it persists.
What we see – Photos from Roosevelt Islanders
In some ways, sleeping in the Roosevelt Island subway station is a step up from alternatives. If we can’t make decent homes, at least the homeless are warm and dry. It’s a sad fact that it’s better than sleeping exposed on the increasingly chilly streets.
Since we’ve never elected politicians big enough to solve our worst social problems, expect more when winter arrives. Cringe with compassion. We can’t solve this as individuals, but we can elect better leaders. That’s a given.
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