Homeless people are taking up refuge in subway stations all over New York City to avoid the bitter cold weather, according to a New York Times report.
There are 3,000 homeless people living in NYC, a 40 percent increase from the year before, TheNYT reports. They take advantage of the round-the-clock heat within the subway system and use “backpacks for pillows” while they sleep on nearby benches. The E line is said to be the most popular line for the homeless, because of its 50-minute ride duration.
TheNYT interviewed Muzzy Rosenblatt, the president and chief executive of the Bower Residents’ committee, a nonprofit hired by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. He said even the mentally ill know to flock to the E line for shelter, but addicts prefer the Number 1 train.
“The mentally ill develop survival skills, and they know their best be is the E,” Rosenblatt told TheNYT. “We find more drug and alcohol addicted on the 1 because they are less conscious of the weather.”
Authorities say there are no special exceptions for homeless riders and they must abide by the rules like everyone else. This includes not lying down on a seat or getting in the path of other passengers, according to TheNYT.
Sundays tend to be the worst days, according to Chris Mendoza, a field supervisor for a security company.
“This whole train is homeless people,” Mendoza said.
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