On Tuesday night, in a subway station in the Kingsbridge Heights section of the Bronx, Diane Borsey, 66, said she has been subjected to violence by other people like her who are unhoused, but also from police officers. Under the new policy, she feared officers would have “too much power.”
But others, like Michael McLurkin, 47, who goes by Quest, and has slept on the streets of Harlem for the past two months, approved of the mayor’s plan as a much-needed initiative to tackle the dangerous situations he faces each night.
“It’s violent people out here,” Mr. McLurkin said as he stood outside the Harlem 125th Street station of the Metro-North Railroad. “If people need that kind of support, it would be creative.”
Outside of Pennsylvania Station, Stephen Gomes, 50, stood beside a shopping cart full of his belongings — an assortment of bags, a plastic cup from Starbucks, loose change and a pair of gloves. He agreed.
“All the stuff that’s been happening in our society, I think it’s pretty warranted,” he said of the new directive. “All the mental facilities seem to have been closed, and a lot of the mentally ill seem to be displaced within the homeless society. So what are you going to do? Send the police to take them in,” Mr. Gomes said.