Eric Adams has a “system in place” for tracking homeless encampments on the subway: a shareable Google Doc. When a police officer sees an encampment on the subway, the New York Post reports, they are supposed to record the location in the document. Adams checks the Google Doc regularly and gets upset when police aren’t using it, making it less of a system and more of an Adams thing. “I go on my phone, look at the document — this encampment is not on here,” Adams told the Post. (“We weren’t told we were supposed to log it in,” police reportedly told the mayor of the missing encampment. Adams says that after talking to a precinct commander, his document is now being used.)
The system (Google Doc) is, per the Post, a means to “follow-up with the Department of Homeless Services and others” and “accomplish a mission.” That mission so far: routine sweeps that destroy unhoused people’s belongings while helping very few of them to find lasting shelter. In May, after 710 encampment sweeps, only 39 people moved indoors, according to the city’s own numbers — and Gothamist reported that city officials declined to specify whether these moves were to shelter beds, jails, or hospitals. The mayor’s office claims that more than 1,300 people have “accepted placement” in a safe haven or shelter bed in the three months since the Adams administration began its crackdown on people sleeping on the subway. But as CityLimits reports, “It is unclear, however, how many of those individuals were repeat moves, how many people actually checked in to the facilities and how long they stayed.” These feel like important questions to answer. Someone should make a Google Doc.