(CHELSEA NOW) Dusica Sue Malesevic, July 30, 2018 — For years, the Midtown South Community Council (MSCC) has planted seeds in hopes a coalition will grow to help the homeless. This month, as part of that effort, a sapling sprung when the council released its first-ever “Homeless and Housing Study.”
“The idea was to answer the public’s outcries,” said John A. Mudd, the council’s president and a longtime resident at W. 38th St. and Eighth Ave.
At the council’s monthly meetings — in which residents can voice concerns directly to the Midtown South Precinct — the homeless and what the police can do about them are often a topic.
“Policing has its limits,” according to the study, and “some homeless habits, however frowned upon, are not illegal.”
Quality of life concerns for residents — such as public intoxication, loitering, encampments, panhandling, and other issues — are addressed in the report.
Mudd said he hopes the study also spurs the public’s involvement in the “age-old problem,” and encourages people to call 311 and provides tips on how to do so. The study notes that calls contribute to statistical data, and a high volume of them “will identify hot spots for active enforcement and outreach efforts.”
In addition to the report being a resource for the public, Mudd said he was hopeful it would break down the silo effect.
“You have a lot of people doing great work but we can’t crack [it] unless we come together and work together and streamline efforts,” Mudd said in a phone interview. The study “has enough to educate and map out a plan.”