NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – It’s a challenge to live on the streets, even when the weather cooperates. But when Tropical Storm Irene moved over New York City, it was especially difficult for some of the city’s homeless.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller On The Story

It’s been a long couple of days for Ron Raffel. He was just released from a Staten Island hospital with a leg wound and with nowhere else to go, he hitched a ride and caught a ferry to Manhattan so he could find a drier place to stay.

SEE: Irene’s Wrath | Listener/Viewer Photo

When he got to the other end, a kind cab driver took care of him.

“He goes ‘Where you want to go?’ I say, ‘I want to go to Astor Place.’ He goes ‘Astor Place? Yeah, okay, I’m going,'” Raffel told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

That driver then gave him $10.

But after settling in underground on a bench at the Astor Place subway stop, the cops kicked him out along with Carlos Todos and offered them no alternative.


“They’re walking around with a van. They don’t even say, ‘Come on. Get in the van. We going somewhere. They don’t even say that,” Todos said.

Not having access to a radio, television or other mass media, they had no idea that the entire mass transit system had been shut down and it was too late for them to reach a shelter.

Comments (13)
  1. DanTe says:

    God sent along a hurricane to clean up the trash. And he missed these??? No wonder the world is a mess, God’s stinking drunk or blind.

    1. MikeD says:

      Callous Idiot!

    2. Your Moral Superior says:

      Since you clearly have no soul or conscience, you shall be richly deserving of all ills I hope you have coming.

  2. Wendy says:

    Shame on you Alex, you show no kind of compassion or empathy to another human being. Do you really think these people who are homeless for whatever reason choose to?? They have to work is your comment, try finding jobs for the homeless and the mentally ill if you find any please let me know, I know of thousands of people who will gladly work, rather to sleep on the streets. People with masters degree don’t have jobs right now, I am glad you probably have a job, be GLAD and don’t put anyone else down. Be well,

    1. Avis Crawford says:

      Well said!

    2. MikeD says:

      The homeless are Human Beings – God’s Creatures!!! Do not pass judgement on those who are less fortunate, most have no idea what they have undergone. Treat them with compassion and help when you can; there is such a thing as karma.

  3. Kev says:

    This story makes it seem like the homeless had no other choice but to be on the street during the storm. First, there was an initiative to get the homeless out of the street, but just like the people who refused to evacuate, some homeless individuals did not want to go to a homeless shelter either. In addition, the city opened about 80 shelters for the general public during the storm so any homeless person who did not want to go to a homeless shelter could have gone to one of these shelters. This information was distribute for days before the storm by hospitals, homeless advocates, the NYPD, etc.

    1. lili13se says:

      most homeless don’t have access to the media to get informed about where to go. I’m a pretty astute computer user, and I had a hard time figuring out where my nearest evacuation shelter was. Yes, some probably did chose not to got to a shelter, probably because they get preyed on in many shelters. Not only the police, but most of our society treat homeless people as sub human rather than with compassion – witness Alex below, who does not seem to realize that after about 3 days on the street it becomes impossible to get a job (would you hire a homeless person, Alex?) Pity Bloomberg didn’t use the safer subway stations as alternate shelters for the homeless.

    2. Your Moral Superior says:

      “This story makes it seem like the homeless had no other choice but to be on the street during the storm.” Yes, it IS unusual for a news story to reveal actual, cold hard truths isn’t it? I was also surprised that the true reality was portrayed here.

  4. Caridad Hernandez says:

    I knew it, there was not initiative directed at getting the homeless to safety during this storm. unbelievable.

  5. Alex says:

    They have to work. Stop relying on city expense.

    1. Your Moral Superior says:

      Unemployment is over 20%, but you knew that and are merely having trouble using your head.

  6. MSavage says:

    Police hate vagrants and only look forward to doing them harm.

Leave a Reply