Yesterday, the New York Times wrote an article about the plan by New York City Mayor Eric Adams to “remove people with severe, untreated mental illness from the city’s streets and subways.” The article is a good example of how leading corporate news organizations cover homelessness and state violence.
This is dangerous. Police Officers are going to be put in the position to determine “who” of the homeless population is considered “mentally ill and unable to care for themselves”? Using what criteria? And I ask this as a Nurse Practitioner.
This sounds more like a generalized “roundup” under the guise of “doing a good thing”.
All it’s going to do is clog up the Emergency Departments. There’s no way ANY ONE of these people will meet admission criteria because being homeless is not an illness and unless you’re actively threatening to harm yourself or others you don’t pose a risk to anyone.
And what does “care for yourself” even mean? Some people think if you don’t shower everyday you’re not caring for yourself other people have a different perspective of what “caring for oneself” means.
This is all a sham to make it look like someone is doing something about what society perceives as a problem they would rather not have to deal with.
And shame on the NYTimes for NOT utilizing Investigative Journalism to examine such a juicy societal issue. This issue is something that The Old Grey Lady could have really sunk her teeth into but politically I fear it may have been a might too hot of a topic for her. Thus, better to regurgitate the same old blah,blah, blah which they seem to do very well these days
This NYT article could have been written 10 years ago. As a former clinical coordinator of a big city emergency room psych department I see no analysis or solutions offered by the mayor to a heartbreaking crisis which increases every year. The homeless and particularly the mentally Ill homeless are more and more visible and politicians simply give lip service - I can’t really believe that they don’t understand the basic root causes of this worsening systemic crisis.
This cruel system’s answer is most often prison system or ER system with an exit to homelessness again.
As always Alec your work gives one hope. Thank you
Well thought. Thank you.