The Upper West Side isn’t the only place where fed-up New Yorkers are turning to private security guards to deal with the city’s spiraling homelessness crisis.
Zeckendorf Towers at Union Square has a single guard patrolling around the complex from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily to roust vagrants and keep them from camping out on the sidewalks.
One longtime resident called the change “amazing,” saying, “The main problem was the outside of the Food Emporium on 14th Street between Park and Irving.
“Now that they’ve hired private security, it’s been much, much better,” said the woman.
She added, “The homeless problem in Union Square since [Mayor] de Blasio came into office has been absolutely awful.”
A Food Emporium manager also said, “I was wondering why there were so fewer homeless people lately.”
“Then I found out we had private security, and I was like, finally!” the manager added.
Integrated owner Alan Schissel, a retired NYPD detective sergeant, said the biggest problem was posed by “more aggressive, younger and mentally challenged individuals. We’ve been verbally assaulted. We’ve been spit on. We’ve been punched at,” he said.