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New York’s Homeless Build Shelter Inside Manhattan Bridge

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hm_UAR6550.jpgby Barry Burch Jr.

When it comes to humans, neither food, water or shelter is an option, they are mandatory.  But unfortunately, in New York, prices are simply too high for some residents to be able to afford all three.  Therefore, some residents have decided to take matters into their own hands by turning the Manhattan Bridge into a rent-free residence using only plywood and ingenuity, as reported by Mail Online.

Rents are on the rise in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and as they increase, working professionals are finding themselves stretched incredibly thin trying to pay them.   Brooklyn once offered very affordable rent, but now the median is $2,900 –  a record high.  It is nearly the same in Manhattan.

While the dwellings being built under the bridge are very narrow, and are only large enough to fit one person lying down, they are still places to stay.  And for people out in the streets, having to take their best shots with the elements, they are lifesavers.

According to The New York Post, there is one middle-aged Chinese man that lives on the bridge.  Every morning he locks his plywood ‘door’ with a bicycle lock then returns for the evening to sleep.  Getting to and fro is no easy feat for the man, as he has to climb a chain-link fence in order to reach the dwelling, which is built into the bridge frame on the Manhattan side of the bridge.

A cyclist actually caught a glimpse of the man climbing the said fence one day, and mistook him for a jumper.  He called 911, and reported that he believed there to be a man trying to commit suicide.  Police ripped the man from the fence and questioned him.  Though his English is broken, the man was able to explain to police that he was simply returning home, and was not attempting to kill himself.

A woman riding her bike past the incident, Marcha Johnson, told the Post, “People are really desperate for places to stay.  I say, if he’s not bothering anybody, he’s not bothering me.  Leave him alone.”

The pods do seem to be out of the way.  They are built into the underside of the upper deck of the bridge, below car traffic and above the subway, as reported by Mail Online.  They are also 10.5-feet, and have enough space for a mat to sleep on, and a few personal items.  There are no kitchens or restrooms.

Barry is an award-winning writer and political scientist.  His business, “Barry Writes,” provides biographies, speeches, press releases and so forth to individuals and businesses in need of potent and compelling literature.  Reach him @ Facebook.com/barrywrites and Twitter.com/barryburchjr

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