Stop the Violent Sweeps Displacing our Houseless Neighbors under the BQE

Stop the Violent Sweeps Displacing our Houseless Neighbors under the BQE

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!

North Brooklyn Essentials started this petition to Mayor of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and

On Friday, February 26th the Department of Homeless Services, the Department of Sanitation, and the New York Police Department collectively participated in a clean-up of the area underneath the BQE near Leonard St. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

This sweep forcibly displaced the houseless individuals sheltered there and resulted in the removal and destruction of their belongings. This is an unacceptable and unnecessary act of violence directed at some of our most vulnerable and precarious neighbors and has no justification during a pandemic or at any other time.

Overwhelmingly, houseless people report that DHS shelters and other available forms of housing are unsafe or inaccessible to them. Sweeps put all of us at risk and are extraordinarily harmful to unsheltered individuals who rely on the minimal belongings they’ve collected to keep warm, safe, and healthy. 

The current pandemic demands compassionate and evidence-based approaches to public health. As CDC Guidelines state, in the absence of individual housing options, outreach workers, other community partners, and law enforcement should “allow people who are living unsheltered or in encampments to remain where they are.”

Houselessness is not a crime, and our houseless neighbors are not criminals. All New Yorkers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and it is incumbent upon all of us to provide material support for their health and well-being rather than criminalization and punishment.

We the undersigned residents of North Brooklyn call for an immediate moratorium on all sweeps underneath the BQE and throughout New York City for the duration of the pandemic. Furthermore, we call on these officials and agencies to immediately provide safe, accessible, individual housing options to all houseless individuals who request it.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!