Disgruntled residents of Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood say they are fed up with complaining to authorities about a sprawling homeless camp that has taken root in their midst.
Around 20 people are believed to live on West 24th Street on the corner of Sixth Avenue, the New York Post reported.
The camp is one block from the landmark Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio promised three weeks ago to resolve the depressing scene but nothing was done and locals told the newspaper they were fed up.
On July 23, he said he would do anything to have it brought up immediately, but the camp has only grown.
The block that runs along West 24th Street on the corner of Sixth Avenue has become a garbage dump
Homeless people have taken to the streets using the furniture thrown away by fleeing New Yorkers
"We call 311 so many times and they don't come," said Sam Fernando, a 725 Video employee.
& # 39; They're blocking the door. I kindly ask them to move and they will fight, ”he told the newspaper.
& # 39; You are harassing customers. How can you do business in such an environment? & # 39;
Some have built makeshift shelters out of flower pots, plastic gates or shopping carts. Others have claimed doors to sleep in as their own.
With an estimated 500,000 people having left the city since the pandemic began, furniture has been abandoned and homeless people have built their own shelters.
Richard Charlton, owner of the A + Access Locksmith on Sixth Avenue, agreed that doing so would harm his business.
"I have a lot of customers who complain," he told the newspaper.
"You don't want to come down this block."
He said the homeless arrived when the area closed due to the pandemic and "never left".
"You just got on," he said.
NYPD members walked down Sixth Avenue Wednesday but took no action against the chaos
The officers left without doing anything to improve the situation, which is unsanitary and unsafe for everyone involved
The camp was built in the heart of Manhattan, one block from the Flatiron building in Chelsea
Charlton, whose shop was closed between March and June, said it was daunting to weather one storm only to return to another.
"I was almost on the verge of closure," he said. “It's overwhelming to have been out of business for so long – business is slow – and come back to that? It's daunting. & # 39;
The owner of The Corner Cafe said he had called the police "nearly 20 to 30 times" in the past two months about various issues with the warehouse.
When the police even responded, the homeless people just moved away until the police left and then circled back, he said.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Social Services, which also includes the Ministry of Homeless Services, said city authorities have carried out two “full cleanups” of the site since de Blasio's press conference on July 23.
A third clean-up was planned, the spokesman added, noting that people in the camp had previously refused services.
The NYPD's Homeless Outreach Unit was disbanded last month. The 85 or so officers were redeployed to fight the rising shootings.
A plumbing department car visited the intersection Wednesday, the New York Post reported, and a worker took pictures of the scene.
"We clean up and they come back every day," said the worker.
He said his bosses wanted to see the pictures.
"They just want us to take pictures every day."
The Chelsea homeless camp is nowhere near the only one troubling Manhattan.
In the East Village, homeless people sheltering under scaffolding near St. Mark's Square have been repeatedly cleared away to return.
And on the Upper West Side, a homeless camp near 79th Street and Broadway is causing misery for locals.