“And Now They Are Coming for the Unhoused: The Long Push to Expand Involuntary Treatment in America”
Close up photo of about a dozen protesters from the waist or chest up, holding protest signs.

Reporting from Mad in America: “On November 29, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced his administration’s 11-point legislative agenda, which seeks to enforce an expanded interpretation of the state’s existing mental hygiene laws governing forced treatment.”

The article describes the mayor’s decision further, then draws attention to the fact “the voices of unhoused people have been less frequently heard in the public debate…”

“Lisa Ortega, formerly unhoused organizer with Take Back the Bronx, told Mad in America that involuntary removals of unhoused people were already happening in New York City. ‘A lot of people get put away involuntarily,’ she said. ‘They get medicated immediately. And they can’t even fight back because they get medicated.’

“She voiced fears that her Black and Brown unhoused neighbors would be further targeted under the new guidance. ‘If a homeless person just puts up their arm and says, ‘No, don’t,’ that’s considered ‘resistance,’ she said. ‘They’re ‘decompensating.’ They were ‘violent.’ They were ‘aggressive.’ This is more of a green light to just take people in.’

“Ortega pointed the finger at the Adams administration and past administrations for producing conditions of poverty and houselessness in the city. “They’re the ones that are making people sick in the streets, putting them in the streets to begin with,” she said.”

Click here for more on the “Half-Century of Tug of War” regarding involuntary medical incarceration in New York.