Cuomo: Take homeless inside as temperature falls

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday signed an order requiring communities statewide to take homeless people from the streets to shelters when temperatures reach freezing,

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attends a press conference about New York state's program to buy back homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in this file photo. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attends a press conference about New York state's program to buy back homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in this file photo. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) (1/3/16)

NEW YORK - (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday signed an order requiring communities statewide to take homeless people from the streets to shelters when temperatures reach freezing, saying he was ready for a legal challenge from anyone who believes "people have a civil right to sleep on the street and freeze to death."

Cuomo said the executive order, which takes effect Tuesday, will protect the state's growing homeless population.

The order came as temperatures in parts of New York state were dipping below 32 degrees. It calls for police departments and social services agencies to move people into shelters, including those reluctant to go.

The legality of the order was questioned by Karen Hinton, a spokeswoman for  Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"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," she said in a statement. "This executive order adds no legal or financial resources to New York City's programs to assist the homeless and merely requires all New York state localities follow many of the same requirements as New York City to shelter families and individuals in need in freezing temperatures."

In an interview with WCBS-AM, Cuomo said he was ready to go to court, if necessary, to defend his order against any constitutional challenges.

"I want this done statewide," Cuomo said. "By the way, there is a philosophy out there that says people have a civil right to sleep on the street and freeze to death if they want to."

He said he believed the law was on his side.

"I'm not going to argue an individual's right to freeze to death," Cuomo told WCBS. "I want to argue an individual's human right to housing and services and shelter."

The governor said the order, requiring homeless shelters to extend hours if necessary, was to protect people from hypothermia and potential death.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

News 12 Brooklyn asked residents what they think 1 Word on the Street: Amazon Go
The 25-year-old had just recently started work at 2 Police look to question ex-boyfriend in death of correction officer
News 12 viewers take to Facebook to address 3 The Buzz: Bushwick mail problems
Construction crews are making repairs to a sinkhole 4 Officials: Water leak to blame for 23rd Street sinkhole
Some Bushwick residents say they have not been 5 Bushwick residents without regular mail service for months

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Furry Friends is a weekly segment on News Furry Friends

Furry Friends is a weekly segment on News 12 Brooklyn nightside.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE