Living on a sidewalk, in an alley or in a park where you are exposed to the weather and dangerous people must be avoided. You are also more apt to be bothered by police than in a more concealed place. In New York City some folks are using the large airports as a place to sleep, stay warm, clean themselves in the restrooms, beg for money and have food at hand if begging is effective. However, there is no place to store possessions other than what you can carry with you. Other negatives abound but it is likely safer at an airport than on the streets.
A major drawback of living in the airport terminal is that authorities can order the homeless to be ejected at any time. It is typical for the homeless to dwell in a location at the whim of others. The lack of security is hard on the homeless. It is a mental drain that can be especially hard on those who are homeless due to mental illness.
I place this post here not as a recommendation to choose an airport terminal as a desired place to dwell but if you have no other place to live it may be the least of one or more evils. This linked-to story is for one city in the country but if your are homeless elsewhere with few to no options maybe the local airport can be a shelter until something better occurs. As with everything I write I am forced to write in generalities. It is up to YOU to determine your own situation and the legalities of your own area and to always use common sense and avoid braking laws and never draw attention to yourself in a negative manner. Good luck.
From a distance, Joseph Sowards looks like any traveler stuck for the night at LaGuardia Airport’s central terminal after his flight was canceled. Get closer, and it becomes clear from his layered clothing and dirty hands that he’s one of New York City’s record number of homeless.
“They don’t bother me here,” said Sowards, 44, an unlicensed plumber from Maspeth, Queens, who was lying on the floor. He’s been sleeping in parks and abandoned buildings for the past 10 years.
While the homeless population is bigger at the Port Authority bus terminal and Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, a growing number are finding shelter at New York’s airports, according to Volunteers of America. Since 1986, the 118-year-old nonprofit has provided outreach to the homeless at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports under a contract with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Sowards was one of about two dozen people who had taken shelter in LaGuardia’s 50-year-old central terminal on a subfreezing night this month. They slept in seats at the baggage claim and waiting areas and on radiators in the presecurity food court. They used restroom sinks to wash, and some with suitcases blended in with other stranded travelers.
Volunteers of America, which has offices at LaGuardia and JFK, counted a monthly average of 45 chronic homeless people at LaGuardia in 2014, an 80 percent increase over the average month in 2011. On the coldest nights, as many as 50 took refuge at LaGuardia in East Elmhurst, Queens. JFK’s chronic homeless increased to an average of 33 per month, double the number in 2011.
Follow the link for the entire story.