Men in the notorious Bellevue homeless shelter are trapped sleeping on the floor next to coronavirus carriers and K2-smoking zombies — while most of the facility’s beds go unused, residents told The Post.
Things haven’t changed much since the city pledged Friday to clean up the blighted 30th Street facility after The Post published shocking photos of homeless men recently rousted off subways, many without masks, sprawled across the floors and stairwells.
City Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks called the photos “unacceptable,” saying the agency has to “do better.”
Abraham Grandsoult pictured outside Bellevue Men’s ShelterStefan Jeremiah
He might not realize the shelter isn’t actually crowded, it just looks that way. What’s occurring is arguably worse.
Some men are sleeping alone in rooms upstairs that have four or five other beds — all to adhere to social-distancing guidelines that have backfired spectacularly.
“Sis, nothing here makes sense,” said Barry Washington, 51, who prefers the subways to the shelter. “They got empty beds upstairs and half of us on the floor. They don’t check to see if anybody’s sick but I can tell you they are. I seen guys coughing and shaking with they red eyes and that ain’t from dope.”
People sleeping in the hallway and stairs of the Bellevue Men’s Homeless Shelter
On Saturday shelter guards had locked off part of the main lobby and moved some of the men without beds to an inner room where they couldn’t be seen, resident Abraham Grandsoult, 34, told the Post.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Department of Homeless Services spokesman Derek Jackson, who blamed the lobby overcrowding on the NYPD subway-clearing effort.
“They’re social distancing in the rooms but they dump bring the homeless from the subways in the lobby. They solved one problem and created another. These individuals shouldn’t be made to suffer if they come in after 10PM and don’t get a bed.”
Residents said health and safety precautions are a joke despite Mayor Bill De Blasio’s claims to the contrary.
Many are fearful not only of the virus, but synthetic marijuana “K2” junkies coming in late from 125th Street in East Harlem.
“Half the place is a bunch of infected druggies swiping sticks off each other or the floor,” said Grandsoult. “The K2 ain’t new but there’s more of it than ever. They go nuts at night and run up and down the stairs. Nobody gives a s—t if the rest of us get sick.”
Two young staffers leaving Bellevue Friday morning after their overnight shift said the K2 problem has been worse in the last three months than at any time during the past six years.
“It don’t show up on the metal (detector) so we can’t keep it from coming in,” said one staffer. “They lose their minds on it but there’s nothing we can do. They won’t wear masks. Its bad.”
The 30th Street Men’s Homeless Shelter at Bellevue Hospital in midtown amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.Taidgh Barron/NY Post
The number of Homeless Services police officers has been cut from 1,000 in 2018 to just 450 today, said Jackson, which means Bellevue only has a few officers in the intake area and none in the 850-bed shelter.
“There’s no one to protect anyone in there,” Jackson said. “They feel safer in the lobby, but that’s not safe at all with coronavirus.”
People outside the 4, 5, 6 125th street subway stopJ.C. Rice
What is needed is a “comprehensive plan” to deal with COVID-19 in the shelters, Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237 told the Post. “They’re putting everyone in there at risk without one, the staff too.”