CURBEDFor the past year, Peter Malvan has been working with Midnight Run, the Urban Justice Center’s Safety Net Project, and other groups to help the city’s unhoused. This has been especially challenging during COVID, with people fearing that the crowded conditions in the shelters would spread infection. “I’m disabled, but I like to keep busy,” he says. “I used to go to offices for in-person meetings. When virtual meetings happened, that got interesting because my phone doesn’t always work. I didn’t get paid, but I worked.”
N.Y.C. doubled ‘cleanups’ of homeless encampments last year, despite C.D.C. guidance to let them be.
New York TimesFrom March 1 to Dec. 12, the city performed 1,077 cleanups, compared with 543 during the same period in 2019. The statistic was released by the city in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Urban Justice Center, a nonprofit whose Safety Net Project helps homeless people.
AM NYA lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority alleges that rules adopted by the agency to clear stations and trains of homeless men and women are discriminatory, namely by restricting people from remaining in stations for over an hour at a time. Urban Justice Center (Safety Net Project) and Picture the Homeless file the Article 78 petition in New York County Supreme Court on Thursday and the MTA is not backing down
New York TimesBut the rules exempt so many activities from the one-hour limit — including public speaking, campaigning, leafleting, artistic performances and collecting money for religious or political causes — as to make it “clearly apparent” that their real purpose is to exclude homeless people from the subways, the suit says. The lawsuit was filed by the Urban Justice Center’s Safety Net Project on behalf of Picture the Homeless and a homeless man named Barry Simon.
Gothamist"The rules are not about 'safeguarding public health' and ensuring that essential workers are 'able to maintain social distancing,' but rather are about permanently excluding homeless persons from the subway system," the lawsuit states.The complaint was filed by the Safety Net Project of the Urban Justice Center, Picture the Homeless, and Barry Simon, a disabled homeless shelter resident who has been ejected from subway stations because of the new rules.
Courthouse NewsIn September, the transit authority made those rules permanent — a move that advocacy groups Picture the Homeless and Urban Justice Center say effectively bans homeless people from the city’s subway system.
NY Daily NewsThe rules were instituted as part of the MTA’s response to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In September, the MTA made the rules permanent — effectively banning homeless people from the trains, says the suit in Manhattan Supreme Court by Picture the Homeless, Inc. and Urban Justice Center, advocates for the homeless.
The CityMarika Dias, director of the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center, said: “It’s obviously going to be helpful to a lot of tenants. But it’s not a real eviction moratorium, which would be a blanket protection… . It requires tenants to take a step to access the protection, which always makes it likely folks will slip through the cracks.”
Law 360But Marika Dias, managing director of the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center, called it "entirely unjust and shameful" that the courts have begun issuing default judgments in these cases. Tenants have run into trouble when they try to answer their petitions by phone, as the courts have instructed them to do, she said.
Lo HudBoth depend on tenants paying thousands of dollars in back rent that they will likely not have and actively taking steps to assert that protection, Marika Dias, managing director of the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center, said.