I once overheard someone on M Street in Georgetown remarking to her friend, “Georgetown would be so much prettier without all these bums on the street. Why can’t they just go somewhere else?”
This comment, while infuriating, is also an understandable one. After all, if it’s out of your backyard, it becomes someone else’s problem, right? (FALSE!)
That is how some NYC residents near Lexington Ave and 125th Street feel about their neighborhood where there is a bus stop that connects to Wards Island, “which is home to four large homeless shelters for single men, with a total population of over 1,000 people.” (source) Residents have written to MTA to try and move the bus stop several blocks away, even though the current bus stop is connected to three subway lines and three other bus lines.
Shipping the homeless elsewhere and passing laws that make being homeless difficult does not actually address the problem of homelessness. Instead of trying to cover up the problem or passing it on to someone else, we should strive to tackle it head on and address the real root of the issue.