2002-04-27 / Editorial/Opinion

An Act of Desperation

An Act of Desperation

The story of families vacated from 142 Beach 96 Street, appearing in this week's Wave, is yet another example of how the system has failed to provide the services needed for people to live decently. The fact that there are many other families living under similar conditions in New York City is an outrage. It would be most unfortunate for people who have exceptional or adequate housing to believe that the squatters want to live in a sea of filth and feces. In many cases, they are working people, but they are people making well below the national average in terms of salary. They cannot afford the skyrocketing rents of one, two or three bedroom apartments, and the city shelters have become havens for child molesters, rapists, drug addicts and the mentally ill, which is no place for children. When toddlers are subjected to running and playing in feces, and adults have to swat at flies and endure the overwhelming stench while eating, something has gone horribly wrong within the system of affordable housing.

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