Coalition for the Homeless, and Riders Alliance recently delivered an open letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio urging both leaders to take decisive action by investing in housing and support services for people who seek shelter in the subway system. 

The organizations serving homeless New Yorkers and transit riders shared recommendations to address homelessness in the subways through investments in housing and safe shelters, rather than relying on a surge in police. The letter states, “Housing is the answer to homelessness, and it is essential that the State and City address the root causes of this crisis in order to reduce the number of our neighbors who resort to sleeping in the transit system.”

Advocates recommend reopening the subway 24/7, investing more in mental health care and offering single-occupancy hotel rooms for the duration of the pandemic.