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Curtis Sliwa says to bus NYC’s homeless to work camp upstate


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Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa supplied a novel resolution to the perennial downside of homelessness in New York City: reopen an enormous work camp upstate that opened below Mayor LaGuardia within the Thirties and closed greater than a decade in the past.

“There is so much empty space up there,” Sliwa mentioned. “They can breathe fresh air, have good food, clothes, and it gives them a chance to get back on track.”

The Guardian Angels boss needs to restart Camp LaGuardia, a 1,000-bed, 258-acre compound constructed out of a former girls’s jail in Chester, N.Y.

“It provided rehab for alcohol issues, you could be self-sustaining and you can learn a trade,” Sliwa mentioned, including that residency could be on a voluntary foundation. “Up there, there are very few temptations.”

The complicated was the brainchild of its namesake, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who obtained it getting into 1934 to fight overflowing homelessness within the metropolis attributable to the melancholy. The progressive La Guardia known as his camp a “human repair shop.”

For many years, NYC males went to and from the camp on common buses. Those who hung round have been inspired to discover work close by as day laborers, or at a neighborhood chicken-plucking plant.

Camp LaGuardia
Camp LaGuardia is 1,000-bed, 258-acre compound constructed out of a former girls’s jail in Chester, N.Y.
John Lazzzaro

A German immigrant named Paul Brinn raised chickens and goats there for 30 years. Adam Kropiewnicki, a Pole who spoke no English, wandered the property for seven years earlier than the town managed to rustle up a translator to ask what he wished. The former asbestos handler mentioned he simply wished to return to Poland and be along with his household. The nonprofit Volunteers of America bought him a one-way ticket, the Los Angeles Times reported.

By 2007, cost-conscious critics like Mayor Bloomberg have been wanting to lower the shelter inhabitants. The property was offered to Orange County for $8.5 million and shut down. Though plans for growth have been floated, Camp LaGuardia has languished as ghostly, weed-choked smash.

Not everybody remembers the camp as fondly as Sliwa.

Camp LaGuardia , a NYC  homeless shelter located in Chester, New York
A resident of the constructing is seen in 1997.
New York Post

The homeless “didn’t like it because they had connections in the city. It was 90 miles up there,” Meribeth Seaman, a former supervisor on the facility, advised The Post. “A lot of them didn’t want to be up there. Some appreciated being up in the country but it was inconvenient.”

As drug addicts and psychological sickness grew to become extra prevalent within the metropolis homeless inhabitants, the residents of Chester additionally started to revolt. In 2002 a Camp LaGuardia resident slashed local Jane Scelta within the face with a jagged bottle as she rode previous on a bicycle.

In 1996, 12 residents have been busted for operating a crack cocaine supply service within the city. That 12 months noticed greater than 98 busts from native police on prices of assault to shoplifting, in accordance to a Post report from the time.

Camp LaGuardia
The situation of Camp LaGuardia has vastly deteriorated because it shut its doorways.
J.C. Rice

Edward A. Diana, the previous county govt of Orange County, who helped buy the camp, mentioned flatly that the times of exporting the town’s city blight to his neighborhood have been over.

“The jurisdiction that has a problem should handle the problem within their own jurisdiction and not put their problems in other jurisdictions,” he mentioned.

Camp LaGuardia
Not all residents on the facility loved their keep there.
J.C. Rice
Camp LaGuardia
The compound was initially used to fight overflowing homelessness within the metropolis attributable to the melancholy,
J.C. Rice

If not Camp LaGuardia, Sliwa urged extra economically depressed areas of central New York is perhaps open to a deal which might see metropolis tax {dollars} circulation into the native financial system. He urged repurposing the deserted Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in Moreau, N.Y., or probably Plattsburgh.

Sliwa added that there could be loads of cash for a pilot as soon as he shut down Thrive — First Lady Chirlane McCray’s notorious billion-dollar psychological well being boondoggle.

“So much waste,” Sliwa mentioned. “What we are doing now, is not working.”

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