WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Homelessness is not just a city problem.

According to Westchester County officials, there are 329 people in family shelters countywide, with 200 regular singles and another 160 drop-ins — roughly 700 in need of a warm place to sleep, CBS2’s Lou Young reported.

“There are always some people who will try to hide themselves, but the police do a pretty good job of seeking them out,” Westchester Social Services Commissioner Kevin McGuire said.

On Monday, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said he was going to take a close look at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order mandating that the homeless be taken off the streets during cold weather conditions.

Astorino said on Monday that he was unsure of the legality of the order, which went into effect on Tuesday. There are some fears that the compulsory round-ups could spark lawsuits.

“If he wants to do this maybe he should have the state police do it and not have our own villages, towns, cities, and counties in jeopardy if something goes wrong here,” Astorino said.

Even those receiving help said it shouldn’t be compulsory.

“I don’t see how you can be forced to do anything. It should be upon a person’s free will,” Mario Vernon said.

There are cases when the police can compel a person to leave the streets if they’re judged to be a danger to themselves, but those cases are not the norm.


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