United Kingdom

Man living in one of New York's homeless hotels agrees with outraged residents as more camps pop up

A man who is currently homeless has said he understands why some New Yorkers are outraged with hotels providing shelter amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sal Salomon is a musician who names a career highlight as working on a song for Oscar-nominated movie The Wrestler's soundtrack but until recently he was forced to stay at a hotel near JFK Airport.

Now he's staying with a relative and although he lost the will to live while sleeping rough, Salomon sympathizes with people who have complained about homeless encampments popping up on the streets of Manhattan recently.

'A part of me agrees with them. Who wants craziness in front of your doorstep?' Salomon told CBS News.

Musician Sal Salomon became homeless in New York after he spiraled into depression

Mayor Bill De Blasio has moved 13,000 homeless people into hotels across the city to stop COVID-19 outbreaks in shelters and until recently he was living in some

Salomon said the city should divert funds from hotels and pay for qualified psychiatrists to help the displaced

Some displaced people have been seen doing drugs, urinating and cat calling in the streets, which are free from tourists with a widespread travel ban due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some New Yorkers have blamed the rising crime rate on the homeless. However the mayor has blamed it on the coronavirus pandemic and authorities have blamed it on the release of people from jail to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Bill De Blasio has moved 13,000 homeless people into hotels across the city to stop COVID-19 outbreaks in shelters.

It's costing the city some $2million a night which they say they'll try to reclaim from FEMA later.

President Trump has ordered de Blasio - who stripped $1billion from the NYPD's $6billion budget to divert funds to housing projects and youth initiatives - to rehire cops.

Some New Yorkers have blamed the rising crime rate on the homeless. However police have put that down to the release of people from jail due to COVID-19

A homeless encampment along Broadway and Franklin Street in lower Manhattan sits abandoned as the city grapples with numerous make shift shelters popping up over recent weeks

'A part of me agrees with them. Who wants craziness in front of your doorstep?' Salomon said in an interview

President Trump has ordered de Blasio - who stripped $1billion from the NYPD's $6billion budget to divert funds to housing projects and youth initiatives - to rehire cops. Some officers are seen huddled in Manhattan on Thursday

A notice shows that the city has begun a clean-up process, forcing some people to abandon their encampments

One homeless person remained on 6th ave and 24th street after the Department of Sanitation cleared away the encampment

But Salomon suggests that money hotels are receiving should go toward mental health initiatives.

'Help divert these funds that are going to these private companies, that are just warehousing them, and use those funds for qualified psychiatrists,' Salomon said.

Salomon says he became homeless after his brothers, parents and best friend died. He says it ruined his marriage, made him depressed and led to him being displaced.

He has spent time in shelters in Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx and compared it to being in prison when he was 19 for stealing a car.

He managed to turn his life around by going to college in jail and was pursuing music by the age of 24.

Recalling how he had no idea what was in store for him while growing up in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood or while enjoying success with his music, he asked people to think more about how people may have become homeless.

'You see a guy down and out and he's sitting down, he may be hungry. He may be depressed. Depression was the number one thing that I saw,' Salomon shared.

He has landed an opportunity to sing at a local bar twice a week and is hopeful about the future. 

A makeshift tent where a homeless man lives can be seen along Clarkson Street between Washington and Greenwich Street in Greenwich Village on Thursday

A homeless encampment along Broadway and Franklin street in lower Manhattan, New York

Reginald Holmes, who is homeless, stands next to a makeshift tent along West 39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday

However for many others the outlook isn't so bright.

One homeless person remained on 6th Ave and 24th Street on Thursday after the Department of Sanitation cleared away a makeshift encampment that was setup over the past week.

The camp of up to 20 people on West 24th and Sixth Avenue sprung up early in the pandemic. Residents and business owners complained about the mess and chaos and said it harms their livelihoods.

Bill de Blasio said on July 23 he would address the situation but little appeared to be done.

Another along Broadway and Franklin Street in Lower Manhattan sat abandoned.

Reginald Holmes, who is homeless, stood next to a makeshift tent along West 39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday when photographed for DailyMail.com.

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