The Legal Aid Society says that Mayor Eric Adams’s request to change the city’s right-to-shelter law, which has been in place for 40 years, is an attempt to “eviscerate its bedrock legal protections” and would force people to sleep in public places where they are unsafe.
Legal Aid staff attorney Joshua Goldfein argued, in contrast to the mayor’s assertion, that the city has “both resources and alternatives that it should deploy to address the homelessness crisis in New York City,” in a letter to Judge Erika Edwards in the Manhattan state Supreme Court.
If Adams goes through with his plan to challenge a 1981 court order requiring the city to provide shelter to anyone who requests it, the letter, which was sent on May 25 and released by Legal Aid on Tuesday, is a preview of the opposing arguments that will probably arise. Adams plans to challenge the order. The city is fighting a series of legal battles to manage what the mayor calls a “humanitarian crisis” caused by the daily influx of more and more migrants into the city.
A statement from Adriene Holder, the chief attorney of Legal Aid’s civil practice, stated, “The Adams administration must not use temporary difficulties to justify the erasure of a law that has protected New Yorkers for decades from immeasurable harm and prevented our city from experiencing dangerous mass street homelessness.”
The only major city in the United States with such a rule is New York City.
Lawful Guide, which addresses the Alliance for the Destitute, has effectively battled different city hall leaders throughout the years to maintain the option to shield.
Adams has not yet made a motion that would start the legal fight. An attorney for his administration, on the other hand, wrote a letter last week arguing that the unprecedented migrant crisis has made it impossible to provide shelter to everyone and that the right to shelter should be waived when the city lacks sufficient “resources and capacity.”
Since the first Callahan case was settled by an assent order, the city should get the court’s consent prior to modifying the option to-protect rules.
City authorities have now counted in excess of 70,000 transients as having shown up in the city throughout the past year. It is estimated that the city is currently caring for 45,000 people.
City Hall has stopped providing information about the exact number of migrants in the city’s shelter system in recent weeks. Yet, many have been remaining in lodgings and nine crisis cover locales.
According to Goldfein, the city has been able to implement reforms that have allowed more people to leave shelters.
His letter called attention to that the city’s destitute asylum include has as a matter of fact declined lately. According to a recent Gothamist report, there are currently less than 1,000 beds available.
Goldfein said in a phone interview that it was unclear whether the city was sending more migrants to hotels and emergency shelters. He stated that the city was not providing that data in any way.
However, if the case goes to court, such information will unavoidably be revealed.
The press secretary for the mayor, Fabien Levy, denied that the city wanted to end the right to shelter.
He stated in a statement, “Instead, we have asked the court for relief in response to a situation that could never have been considered four decades ago with tens of thousands of additional people coming through our intake system seeking shelter in a single year.”
Source – Gothamist