If you didn’t already know, many of New York City’s homeless people move into so-called tree houses in the city’s Prospect Park. The park is actually in Brooklyn.
However, city officials have been fed up with the number of homeless people living in the hollow trees in the park, so they have cut them down. For months, several homeless people have been using the trees as makeshift shelters.
In the coming weeks, at least four more trees may be cut down by workers.
The Prospect Park Alliance claims that the trees, though healthy, were all reaching the end of their life cycles. Residents living nearby believe the trees were removed because of the increased number of homeless people moving into the park.
Park workers cleaned up the immediate areas surrounding at least a dozen trees so far and threw away possessions owned by the ‘residents’. These homeless residents are known as tree squatters locally.
There have been plenty of signs indicating that people have moved into the trees and surrounding areas inside the park – frying pans, ashes from recent fires, and other items. When the trees were cut down, none of the residents were present.
Before the cleanup, the New York City Department of Homeless Services attempted to make contact with the homeless using the trees as shelters to help them move into a shelter. Unfortunately, none of them could be contacted.