NEW YORK — As the city returns to normal post-Sandy, New York’s homeless report they are just happy to be ignored by familiar commuters back to their daily routines.
With MTA service suspended after the hurricane devastated the tri-state area, New York City’s homeless found themselves displaced from their usual displacement in subway stations and commuter hubs. Now that the flood waters have receded, Darius Timothy, a 54-year-old homeless man, says he feels relieved.
“During Sandy’s aftermath, I was being treated like a ghost by strangers on the unfamiliar M train. Now that the L train is back on schedule, folks on my usual route are once again looking at me like I am invisible. So good to see the city is getting back on its feet,” Timothy said.
Francine Grey, a 29-year-old panhandler, spends her nights riding the 1 train to escape the winter cold. Grey says she was shocked to overhear the horrendous post-Sandy travel tales from commuters.
“After commuting, they couldn’t wait to get home,” said Grey. “I said, ‘I’m homeless’ and they all put in their headphones. Then I ate stale crackers for dinner. I’m just glad things are getting back to normal.”
As of today, Penn Station, Grand Central Station, and most MTA subway stations are running on a near to normal schedule. New York City commuters have returned to work, and Grey is happy to see them, even if they are rarely happy to see her.
“I thought it was wonderful that the city came together to help all those without food, shelter, and clean water. Finally, the city can get back to ignoring me and my need for food, shelter, and clean water.”