Homelessness is a major problem in the state, and in this city. They are everywhere, and sometimes people try to hide it. Not only are they seen on the streets, but they sleep in subway stations, airports and, until recently, in the ferry terminal. While this idea is a good one, the problem is that there aren't enough shelters or manpower to make this happen. Even if it does happen, not all shelters are safe. Crime is high in certain ones, and in others the rules can be restrictive. I applaud Cuomo for trying to do something, but logistically I would love to see this actually work. De Blasio, on the other hand, is refusing to follow the order, saying: "We support the intent of the executive order, but to forcibly remove all homeless individuals in freezing weather, as the governor has ordered, will require him to pass state law." In my mind this means he may do anything different from what he's already doing. Numerous news agencies report talking to the city's homeless population and Fox 5 even went so far as to feature a pregnant homeless woman who wants to stay on the street instead of a shelter.
Here's the deal about the homeless population, at least in NYC: there are way more than can be counted, most are completely out of their tree (i.e. mentally challenged, drug dependent, generally pessimistic), or just dealing with bad luck. Some are also "weekend homeless" or as some like to call them "homeless by choice". Most of the latter are not out now, as they do have homes to go, so those people are indoors right now.
Let's look at some of these people: the drug addicted. This includes winos, alcoholics, K2 users, heroin users, etc. These people are out looking for a fix. That's where the money goes. That's why they want money. Their signs may say they want food or shelter, but they really are just looking for a way to get their next fix. How can you tell who these people are? Well, it's hard to. The best way, is to offer food. If the person doesn't take it, they are probably an addict.
Now let's look at the "crazy" homeless person: this person is a little easier to spot. Mainly because he (or she) is usually talking to himself, either muttering or out loud. These people are usually crazy because of either being on the street too long, or from being turned out of hospitals. They were usually not like this beforehand. They do need help, but it is hard to reach them.
Then there's the "weekend homeless". These people are not homeless, they just act like it's a cool thing to do all day. Kind of like the Occupy Wall St people that set up camp in Zuccotti Park. Most of those people weren't homeless, they were just able to live there until they couldn't. These people have smartphones and other things that "normal" homeless people can't really afford or hold on to. They sit around and ask for change because they think it's cool. Then, when it gets cold or dark, they go back home to the 'rents like nothing ever happened.
Real homeless people take anything: food, pennies, socks. They are out there, and they're usually new to the scene, as it were. NYC is a hard town by any standards, and the homeless have it pretty bad. Being homeless is not a joke, it's a problem. It's going to take a lot to solve it, and, honestly, I admire Cuomo for making a decision. Let's see how it's enforced.