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Monday, 31 August 2020

The NYC exodus: Fleet of moving trucks arrive in the Upper West Side and dozens wait in line to hire U-Hauls as residents reeling from lockdown and the surge in homeless people call it quits

U-Haul trucks and other moving vehicles were seen out in abundance on Manhattan’s troubled Upper West Side across the weekend.
The seeming exodus comes just days after it was revealed residents in the area are planning to sue the city after thousands of homeless people were put up in luxury hotels in the neighborhood in a controversial attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19 amid the ongoing pandemic.
Natives of the typically up-scale neighborhood say the moving in of the homeless people has caused an increase in crime, random violence, drug use, public urination and open prostitution. Some locals claim sex offenders have also moved into the streets.
Long lines were seen outside of a number of U-Haul stations in the neighborhood across Saturday and Sunday, with moving vehicles lining residential streets and discarded furniture stacked on sidewalks left by locals seeking pastures new.
While the end of the month often proves to be a busy moving period in the Big Apple, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa told the NY Post that he believes the ‘mass evacuation' of Upper West Siders from NYC is now in 'full effect.’
U-Haul trucks and other moving vehicles were seen out in abundance on Manhattan¿s troubled Upper West Side across the weekend
U-Haul trucks and other moving vehicles were seen out in abundance on Manhattan’s troubled Upper West Side across the weekend
The seeming exodus comes just days after it was revealed residents in the area are planning to sue the city after thousands of homeless people were put up in luxury hotels in the neighborhood due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Moving truck seen above in the UWS on Sunday afternoon
The seeming exodus comes just days after it was revealed residents in the area are planning to sue the city after thousands of homeless people were put up in luxury hotels in the neighborhood due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Long lines were seen outside of a number of U-Haul stations in the neighborhood across Saturday and Sunday
Long lines were seen outside of a number of U-Haul stations in the neighborhood across Saturday and Sunday
Natives of the typically up-scale neighborhood say the moving in of the vagrants has brought with them increased crime, random violence, drugs, public urination and open prostitution. Some locals claim sex offenders have also moved into the streets 
New York City residents spotted moving out of the Upper Westside
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Sliwa, who lives on West 87th Street, directly blamed the city’s decision to house hundreds of emotionally disturbed homeless people and recovering addicts in neighborhood hotels as the main catalyst for it.
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa told the NY Post that he believes the ¿mass evacuation' of Upper West Siders from NYC is now in 'full effect.¿
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa told the NY Post that he believes the ‘mass evacuation' of Upper West Siders from NYC is now in 'full effect.’
The mayoral candidate, who often leads Guardian Angel patrols of the area, said he saw numerous moving trucks ‘stacked up’ down his street Saturday.
Stopping at each, he says he asked the residents where they were planning on moving too, which each reportedly confirming they were moving out of state.
Sliwa said that in his building already that nine out of the 12 units are currently sitting vacant. He said he’s seen eight moving trucks on his block alone in the last week and a half.
‘The moment I walked out on my block, near Central Park West, there was a moving truck. I asked where you going, and they said, “Virginia,”, he told the outlet.
‘They told me, “Curtis, first the pandemic hit us and now the quality of life is so bad”’ Sliwa said, adding that the woman was almost in tears as she made the admission, telling him she’d lived in the area since the crime-ridden days of the 1970s.
Sliwa said he spoke to the operators of three other trucks. They confirmed they were moving to New Hampshire, Tennessee, and South Carolina respectively.
One removal driver told Sliwa that his company is working ‘morning, noon, and night to move people out of state,’ he claimed.
While the end of the month often proves to be a busy moving period in the Big Apple, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa told the NY Post that he believes the ¿mass evacuation' of Upper West Siders from NYC is now in 'full effect'
While the end of the month often proves to be a busy moving period in the Big Apple, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa told the NY Post that he believes the ‘mass evacuation' of Upper West Siders from NYC is now in 'full effect'
Moving vehicles lining the streets and discarded furniture stacked on the sidewalk left my residents seeking pastures new (picture taken July 14)
Moving vehicles lining the streets and discarded furniture stacked on the sidewalk left my residents seeking pastures new (picture taken July 14)
Residents have hired an attorney to sue the city to transfer the homeless back into shelters where they can get help
Residents have hired an attorney to sue the city to transfer the homeless back into shelters where they can get help
Residents of the area have now hired an attorney to sue to city into transferring the homeless back into shelters where they can receive the help they need
Residents of the area have now hired an attorney to sue to city into transferring the homeless back into shelters where they can receive the help they need
One resident pictured moving out his belongings of his Upper West Side apartment on Sunday
One resident pictured moving out his belongings of his Upper West Side apartment on Sunday
Another of the trucks was for a young family, a mother and father with a young daughter and son.
‘They said in the last month, there have been so many disturbed people in the streets, aggressively panhandling, defecating, urinating — they leave the hotels and have no bathrooms to use,’ Sliwa said.
‘These are the people who elected de Blasio, who live here,’ Sliwa said. ‘It’s a progressive, liberal neighborhood. And now there’s a visceral hate here for him — the feeling that he has virtually singlehandedly destroyed this city.’
At the moment more than 13,000 homeless people are being housed in 139 hotels across the Big Apple, including three luxury hotels – The Belleclaire, The Lucerne and The Belnord – on the Upper West Side. 
Residents of the area have now hired an attorney to sue to city into transferring the homeless back into shelters where they can receive the help they need.

At the moment more than 13,000 homeless people are being housed in 139 hotels across the Big Apple, including three luxury hotels ¿ The Belleclaire, The Lucerne and the Belnord ¿ on the Upper West Side. An unlawful encampment pictured on the Upper West Side on Broadway
At the moment more than 13,000 homeless people are being housed in 139 hotels across the Big Apple, including three luxury hotels – The Belleclaire, The Lucerne and the Belnord – on the Upper West Side. An unlawful encampment pictured on the Upper West Side on Broadway
Residents of the upscale neighborhood complain that the move-in of the vagrants has brought with it increased crime, random violence, drugs, public urination and open prostitution
Residents of the upscale neighborhood complain that the move-in of the vagrants has brought with it increased crime, random violence, drugs, public urination and open prostitution
A homeless man sits along an Upper West Side street, displaying a sign seeking work
A homeless man sits along an Upper West Side street, displaying a sign seeking work
A homeless encampment along an Upper West Side side walk is seen above on Sunday
A homeless encampment along an Upper West Side side walk is seen above on Sunday
Numerous moving vehicles were spotted in the area across the weekend as locals warned of a 'mass evacuation'
Numerous moving vehicles were spotted in the area across the weekend as locals warned of a 'mass evacuation'

On Monday a Zoom meeting was held between the community board, residents and homeless advocates about keeping the streets safe. About 1,100 people joined that emergency meeting.
'What the city has to do legally is house this vulnerable population in proper shelters, where they will get support and supervision and social services they will need,' attorney Randy Mastro, who represents the West Side Community Organization, said to ABC7.
Mastro is an attorney and former Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff under Rudy Giuliani. 
It’s not clear when the suit against the city and Mayor Bill De Blasio would be filed by Mastro said it would be 'soon', according to Our Town.
'We are calling on the de Blasio administration to clear up this mess of its own making,' Mastro said to the New York Post.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the West Side Community Organization for comment on the lawsuit.
'Last night the community came together at the CB7 board meeting to address significant safety concerns to our children and neighborhood. We will not turn a blind eye to what is happening to the UWS or ignore the risk of sexual assault. More news in the coming week,' the group tweeted Tuesday evening. 
Upper West Side residents threatened to sue Mayor Bill de Blasio if he doesn't move 13,000 homeless people out of the neighborhood
Upper West Side residents threatened to sue Mayor Bill de Blasio if he doesn't move 13,000 homeless people out of the neighborhood
On Monday a Zoom meeting was held between community board, residents and homeless advocates about keeping the streets safe. About 1,100 joined that emergency meeting
On Monday a Zoom meeting was held between community board, residents and homeless advocates about keeping the streets safe. About 1,100 joined that emergency meeting
The Guardian Angels perform a night patrol of the Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York, amid growing concerns about hundreds of homeless recently moved into hotels by the city on August 10
The Guardian Angels perform a night patrol of the Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York, amid growing concerns about hundreds of homeless recently moved into hotels by the city on August 10
Local Michelle Benvenisti said she was walking home on the Upper West Side last Saturday night when someone started heckling her. She claimed the man tried to follow her into her home then loitered outside for several hours.
'Completely unnerving that I have purchased a sound alarm for keychain, and I'm signing up for self-defense. Changing the way I do every day activities,' Benvenisti said.
Upper West Side resident Alison Morpurgo said a homeless man grabbed her a few weeks ago trying to steal her phone.
'When they're not wearing masks, congregating, sleeping on the street or sharing bottles, it's hard to see how that's helpful. What was the goal of that?' Morpurgo said.
Locals have joined social media groups including the Twitter page 'Save the Upper West Side' and Facebook group 'Upper West Siders for Safer Streets', which boasts over 11,000 followers. 
Local Michelle Benvenisti said she was walking home on the Upper West Side last Saturday night when someone started heckling her. She claimed the man tried to follow her into her home then loitered outside for several hours
Local Michelle Benvenisti said she was walking home on the Upper West Side last Saturday night when someone started heckling her. She claimed the man tried to follow her into her home then loitered outside for several hours
'Completely unnerving that I have purchased a sound alarm for keychain, and I'm signing up for self-defense. Changing the way I do every day activities,' Benvenisti said. The man who followed her pictured above
'Completely unnerving that I have purchased a sound alarm for keychain, and I'm signing up for self-defense. Changing the way I do every day activities,' Benvenisti said. The man who followed her pictured above

On both pages users post stark photos of the homeless population they’ve found sleeping in streets and urinating in public, and share their concerns. 
Still, the city stands by the decision to move homeless New Yorkers to 139 struggling private hotels across the city in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and prevent breakouts at shelters. 
The effort is being mostly paid for by FEMA, but 25 percent of it is coming from the city's shrinking budget. It brings some cash to the struggling hotels which were decimated by the pandemic.
Through the program, they take $175 per person, per night which - with more than 13,000 homeless currently being housed in hotels - is more than $2.275million, according to anonymous city sources who have been quoted since May.
A man rests on a park bench on the Upper West Side in the Manhattan borough of New York City on August 10
A man rests on a park bench on the Upper West Side in the Manhattan borough of New York City on August 10
The city stands by the decision to move homeless New Yorkers to 139 struggling private hotels across the city in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and prevent breakouts at shelters
The city stands by the decision to move homeless New Yorkers to 139 struggling private hotels across the city in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and prevent breakouts at shelters
In early August Mayor Bill De Blasio said moving the homeless wasn¿t a permanent strategy and the city is planning to purchase buildings to urn them into affordable housing
In early August Mayor Bill De Blasio said moving the homeless wasn’t a permanent strategy and the city is planning to purchase buildings to urn them into affordable housing

Despite the complaints and the exorbitant bills, the city is standing by the decision.
'We know that by moving into hotels, we were able to save lives,' Erin Drinkwater from the Department of Social Services said.
'New Yorkers experiencing homelessness are our neighbors - and the notion that they are not welcome in some neighborhoods for any reason is an affront to basic decency,' The Department of Homeless Services said in a statement.
In early August Mayor Bill De Blasio said moving the homeless wasn’t a permanent plan and the city is planning to purchase buildings to urn them into affordable housing.  
'We're now starting the process of reducing the reliance on hotels,' de Blasio said at a press conference. 'That's the big plan is make sure we can start to get people out of those hotels, relieve some of the pressure on those communities.'
De Blasio offered no details on how quickly the program would be wound down. He had recently said that the program would continue for 'six months-ish.' 

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