BX residents urge action to clean up NYC park that has been turned into homeless encampment

One Bronx residents says she has seen people openly shooting up in the area and has made repeated claims to police and the city’s 311 line.

News 12 Staff

Sep 1, 2021, 2:29 AM

Updated 966 days ago

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Residents are calling on city officials to fix a landmark that has become the site of a homeless encampment.
The encampment sits outside of the historic Edgar Allen Poe Cottage in the Bronx.
Johanny Escano has lived in the area for nearly 30 years and says the issue started in late 2020.
“Anyone who would go into the neighborhood and see something like that, they wouldn’t want to live in that neighborhood,” Escano says.
She says the homeless are frequently sprawled out on the sidewalk, their clothes left hanging on Poe Park’s fence with garbage littering the ground across the street from P.S. 246.
Escano says she has even seen people openly shooting up in the area and has made repeated claims to police and the city’s 311 line.
“I work a full-time job, I pay my taxes, so when I make a complaint and reach out and let people know I need assistance and they just ignore you, it’s very frustrating,” Escano says.
The Department of Parks and Recreation says, “Being homeless in and around a New York City park is not a crime. We have conducted a clean-up in partnership with BronxWorks to address refuge at this location, and we continue to coordinate with the Department of Homeless Services on providing outreach to these individuals.”
The Department of Homeless Services sent News 12 a statement in part: "Our outreach teams canvass this neighborhood several times a week and have made 25 recent placements from this area to transitional or permanent housing opportunities."
The most recent cleanup and outreach effort was Monday.
News 12 is told the homeless people refused services.


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