[Hpn] NYC Mayor Bloomberg Plea "Don't Leave Homeless To Freeze"

William C. Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Thu, 20 Jan 2005 09:22:41 -0500


January 20, 2005

Don't leave homeless
to freeze, mayor says

BY LISA L. COLANGELO and BILL HUTCHINSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
With another brutal cold front packing "significant snow" bearing down on
the city, Mayor Bloomberg urged New Yorkers yesterday to call authorities if
they see homeless people vulnerable on the frozen streets.
Bloomberg's plea came a day after two people froze to death as temperatures
plummeted to bone-numbing depths.
"This cold weather is really dangerous," Bloomberg said. "If you see
somebody on the streets, just pick up the phone. Call 911 or 311. You don't
have to wait."
About 50 people already had called the 311 line to report homeless people at
risk by yesterday afternoon, said Jim Anderson of the Department of Homeless
Services. "That's more than double the number of calls that we normally
see," he said.
Another 3,169 cold New Yorkers called 311 yesterday to complain about lack
of heat and hot water, officials said.
The temperature is forecast to inch just above freezing today before another
fresh blast of arctic air hits the city.
"Friday looks like a day that is just going to be brutally cold," said
meteorologist Tim Morrin of the National Weather Service.
Morrin said temperatures tomorrow will be in the teens, but 20 mph winds
will make it feel like 5 below. He said significant snow is expected
Saturday night and into Sunday.
Rescue workers were combing the city last night for homeless people in need
of shelter. At least 37,521 people, including 8,891 single adults, were
staying at city shelters yesterday.
The urgency to get people indoors was heightened by the double tragedy that
accompanied the freezing weather.
The body of Brooklyn nanny Tamara Zoldak, 50, was found Tuesday on a
boardwalk bench in Brighton Beach. An empty brandy bottle was sitting next
to her, police sources said.
A homeless man found dead in a Queens parking lot Tuesday was identified as
Lester Rusty, who often slept in a construction container near where he was
found in Long Island City.
Despite the tragedies, some homeless people refused to go to a shelter
yesterday.
"I'm going to a church on the East Side and get something to eat. I'll get
warm for a couple of hours, then I'll ride the subways all night," said
Robert Montana, 45, who was huddled in a midtown doorway.

With Kerry Burke, Edward B. Colby and Alison Gendar


Originally published on January 20, 2005

All contents  2005 Daily News, L.P.