Pandemic puts New York restaurants at the forefront of homelessness crisis

The disputes became so serious that Ms. Serrano decided to move the restaurant to a larger space down the block, where there were fewer p...


The disputes became so serious that Ms. Serrano decided to move the restaurant to a larger space down the block, where there were fewer problems. “It was a blessing in disguise for us, really,” she said. “We were honestly breaking the seams. “

Nadine Strossen, a professor at New York School of Law, said a security guard couldn’t keep someone begging away from outdoor restaurants because sidewalks and streets are seen as a forum where people can exercise their First Amendment free speech rights. The exception is when this speech crosses a line of harassment, coercion or intimidation; the law does not allow a security guard to act against speech that is merely controversial or upsetting.

Karim Walker, 40, who has been homeless since 2016 and now lives in his own apartment, said people can ignore the law and how their attempts at enforcement can affect people. “No matter what stage of your life you are still a human being and you always deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Steven Conti, 33, who arrived in New York in December, is currently homeless and sleeping in a park in Manhattan. He believes the expansion of outdoor dining has had a positive effect. “Socializing outdoors – it’s more like a party,” he said. “I’m not complaining. I sort of prefer it.

The six-month outdoor catering structure at Taqueria of Oaxaca, in Murray Hill, is a popular lunch spot. But after the restaurant closes in the evening, it sometimes becomes a place for people to sit, drink and smoke.

Angie Cuervo, an official, said garbage and even human excreta were left behind. “I’m the one who opens the next day, and I find all the trash and I have to clean it up because, of course, I’m not going to let my customers come and see that,” she said.

TO Tribeca cuisine, employees are instructed to give food to anyone in need. Owner Andreas Koutsoudakis Jr. recalled a day this summer when a man went from table to table asking for help. Mr. Koutsoudakis said he put his hand on the man’s shoulder and offered him something to eat.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Pandemic puts New York restaurants at the forefront of homelessness crisis
Pandemic puts New York restaurants at the forefront of homelessness crisis
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