Elizabeth Hess

  • NO PLACE LIKE HOME

    Homelessness exists not because the housing system is not working but because this is the way it works.

    —Peter Marcuse

    ON JUNE 3, 1991, New York City police officers evicted more than fifty homeless residents from Tompkins Square Park and fenced off the entire area. The embattled park was then bulldozed and much of it closed to the public. As I write, Tompkins Square is guarded 24 hours a day by scores of police officers, while the city reconstructs the space to keep the homeless out. Local residents currently refer to the park grounds as “the occupied territories.”

    Under siege for decades, Tompkins