Pandemic Puts New York City Restaurants at Front of Homeless Crisis

by WDC News 6 Staff

The disputes grew to become so extreme that Ms. Serrano determined to maneuver the restaurant to a bigger house down the block, the place there have been fewer troubles. “It was a blessing in disguise for us, actually,” she mentioned. “We have been truthfully busting on the seams.”

Nadine Strossen, a professor on the New York Legislation Faculty, mentioned a safety guard can’t shoo somebody panhandling away from outside diners as a result of sidewalks and streets are thought-about a discussion board the place folks can train their First Modification rights to free speech. The exception is when that speech crosses a line into harassment, coercion or intimidation; the regulation doesn’t permit a safety guard to behave in opposition to speech that’s merely controversial or upsetting.

Karim Walker, 40, who was homeless since 2016 and is now residing in his personal residence, mentioned folks will be ignorant in regards to the regulation, and the way their makes an attempt at enforcement can have an effect on folks. “It doesn’t matter what your stage in life is, you’re nonetheless a human being, and you continue to should be handled with dignity and respect.”

Steven Conti, 33, who arrived in New York Metropolis in December, is at the moment homeless and sleeps in a Manhattan park. He thinks the growth of out of doors eating has had a constructive impact. “Socializing outdoor — it’s extra like a celebration,” he mentioned. “I don’t complain about it. I form of want it.”

The six-month-old outside eating construction at Oaxaca Taqueria, in Murray Hill, is a well-liked lunch spot. However after the restaurant closes within the night, it generally turns into an space for folks to sit down, drink and smoke.

Angie Cuervo, a supervisor, mentioned trash and even human feces have been left behind. “I’m the one who opens the subsequent day, and I discover all of the trash and I’ve to wash it up as a result of, after all, I’m not going to let my purchasers come and see that,” she mentioned.

At Tribeca’s Kitchen, staff are instructed to present meals to anybody in want. The proprietor, Andreas Koutsoudakis Jr., recalled a day this summer season when a person went desk to desk asking for assist. Mr. Koutsoudakis mentioned he put his hand on the person’s shoulder and provided him one thing to eat.

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