The Homeless Situation Is Only Getting Worse

homeless guy on Franklin“Just curious if you know anything about the young man who has been living on the street on Franklin just east of Hudson since the winter,” emailed S. “He used to be on the south side of the street but moved across the street a few months ago. He has rather elaborate belongings for someone living on the street. It seems odd that no one has moved him from that spot. Maybe this is not your kind of question.”

Whether it’s my kind of question or not, I keep hearing it—not about that guy, specifically (although people tweet now and then about his good looks), but about the dramatic increase in homeless people all around the neighborhood. Some come and go; others set up camp. Some seem deeply mentally ill, like the woman who urinated while standing five feet from me on Warren; others not so much.

This is from A.: “Given the recent press and apparent increase in homeless in our neighborhood I thought I’d share this pic. Seems our neighbor who used to sleep and urinate on the south side of Murray between W. Broadway and Greenwich has moved west and now sleeps in front of Whole Foods. His bathroom is apparently the trash pails at corner of Murray and Greenwich. Not sure how you feel about this situation but we find it worrisome.”

Obviously, the urination is distressing. But the whole situation is heartbreaking. I doubt very sincerely anyone wants to live on the street. The question is, what can we do?

M. actually tried to help the young man on Franklin: “I made three calls to 311 and police came by to offer a hand. He was gone for a day then returned. The next day, the police came back and moved his stuff, but he returned two days later. Never saw the police again although they do drive by once in a while—but not to address him anymore. I reached out to the community board and they took immediate action—an outreach program was there the next day. We thought that would have inspired the homeless man to make progress but two days later he was back, and now it seems he has persistently dodged instruction and help. It’s hard to know the difference between providing empathetic assistance and wielding concerned authority.”

That last sentence says it all. Having given up hope that the city will figure it out, I suggest we all donate, even if only a small amount, to the New York City Rescue Mission and ACE. They’re on the front lines, doing far more than we ever could; what we can do is give them the financial support they dearly need.

P.S. I just gave $100 to each of them, and I’m only mentioning it to (a) prove my money is where my mouth is, and (b) hope that it’ll inspire you.



  1. …”although people tweet now and then about his good looks” ???

    Who are these people?

  2. If Taylor Swift would only notice him and take him to the Grammys, all would be solved.

  3. The police “moved his stuff” ? To where? Did they basically just steal it?

    • Sheila,
      If he was living in front of your building, like he’s living in front of my would be happy the police ‘stole’ his stuff.
      He’s a homeless guy who’s smoking crack for all to see.
      Maybe it does rate a mention that he’s a good looking white guy that the police seem to leave alone..I doubt they’d be as ‘whatever’ about the whole thing if it was a person of color smoking crack/living on the sidewalk in front of Nobu.

      • Andy, I don’t pretend to have a solution and you are right I wouldn’t like that but I am also not convinced taking his stuff is going to help anything…
        It is a huge issue for sure and does seem to be getting worse….

  4. If you go by the homeless guy outside Santander at night,you will see him smoking drugs from a pipe. While I am not an expert on drugs, this does not at all appear to be pot that he is smoking. I base this on the manner that he is smoking. I have seen him do this several times in front of young children passing by. We should all be sympathetic to homelessness. However, doing drugs on our streets should absolutely not be tolerated. I would recommend that parents with children walk on the other side of the street for starters.

    • I haven’t seen him doing drugs, although I don’t walk past him late at night. I have noticed, however, that he never asks for money at all; he doesn’t seem mentally ill and I have never seen him bother anyone or make any comment when someone walks by. It’s quite heart breaking to see this young man (and others) living on the street. I don’t know what this particular man’s story is, but I don’t think taking away his stuff is the answer. Maybe if we found out how he wound up there, he could be helped.

  5. The camped out homeless have increased by the Chamber’s St 1 train recently, particularly by Bogardus garden. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned that. But seriously, with graffiti popping up on the abandoned buildings and the number of empty storefronts, who can really be surprised that the homeless are moving in. The neighborhood is on the verge of something, but I’m not quite sure what.

  6. I live on Warren and there are a couple of new homeless men this summer.

    One has been walking around with dried feces on the back of his pants. He gets booze form the liquor store on the Church street side of the Carey building, then gets food from the 711, and then passes out or leaves heaps of chicken bones all over the corner of Warren & Church.

    This isn’t an aesthetic problem, this is a health issue, with rodents coming for the heaps of food, and his feces being tracked all over a very residential area.

    I guess I’m asking the question, what can be done? I will, and am all for, donating to aid groups, but a lot of these guys won’t take it, they just want to stay where they are.

  7. Maybe we are making it just a bit too easy for the TriBeCa homeless. The newest addition to the homeless crew in North Tribeca is a devout Vegan. My neighbors report giving him clementines.

    I’ll let the rest of you weigh in on this. Mostly because I want to read everyone’s reactions.

  8. I really feel for this kid. He’s got so much going against him. Here’s hoping he is able to make it in the mean streets of Tribeca. Thank god he’s not lazy and everyday is trying to better himself. Makes you wonder what those Vets are complaining about with their PTSD and missing limbs when this poor kid doesn’t even have a box spring!

  9. *update*
    Brandon Santander’s ‘home’ seems to have been removed from the corner of Franklin & Hudson.

  10. Maybe he temporarily relocated so he can renovate?

  11. I think a lot of these comments about this poor guy are just heartless! Yes, this guy and his belongings are gone, but I keep wondering about him and what became of him. Hopefully, he was able to get help, but I’m sure he just moved to another location and remains homeless. Remember no matter how comfortable our cushy little lives are in Tribeca in our beautiful lofts and with our high priced restaurants and stores, we should never forget how fine a line there is between his life and ours. With just a little bit of bad luck…say the loss of a job or some sort of financial disaster, we could wind up in his shoes!

  12. Walked by the spot today and it looks like he’s back. Not sure but there was a young bearded man sleeping there with a blanket and a pillow!