New York City, USA: Shelters Not So Sweet: A Letter to the Editor of the New York Post

For the last two weeks, the New York Post has been running a bunch of really inflammatory articles about how shifty homeless people are coming to this city for supposedly luxurious free shelter accommodations. Obviously, this is totally ridiculous – anyone who has ever stepped foot inside a shelter knows they’re awful. But the Post doesn’t care about the truth; they just want to scare & stir up conservative readers who already think homeless people are a public menace.

So PTH member Maria Walles wrote a letter to the editor, saying “If you think homeless people are living it up in the shelters, you can take my spot there.”

Surprise, surprise, the Post didn’t run it. But we don’t need them. WE ARE THE MEDIA. Here’s Maria’s letter.


Re: “Thank You Very Mooch, NYC!” – April 1, 2013

Anyone who thinks homeless people “live large” in city shelters has never actually lived in one.

The shelter system is not a pretty place to be in at all. I don’t understand how you could write this article but it clearly belongs in the garbage. I’m now staying in the shelter for the second time around – I had gotten an apartment through the “Work Advantage” program where the city and I both contributed to paying the rent, but then the city cut the funding for it and I’m back in the shelter. Half of what the city’s paying for me to be in a shelter could be spent on a two-bedroom apartment for me and my family.

Shelters are horrible. You share the bathroom, there’s no cooking, and if you want to eat you have to eat out every day of the week. You have to follow rules and regulations all the time 24 hours a day. I would like to end this letter by saying I would rather have my own place. If you think homeless people are living it up in the shelters, you can take my spot there.

Maria Walles
Picture the Homeless
New York, NY