New York City Councilman Ruben Wills, attempting to live the life of the homeless for three days in order to prove that the “system” does not work, didn’t quite make it-he caught pneumonia after two days. Wills didn’t pay his own rent last year and wound up in court. Trying a cheaper alternative this time, Wills slept on subways for two days while spending his two days pumping gas and opening doors at a McDonalds to make money, but Tuesday night he wound up in Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn instead.
Wills had stated, “There are lot of holes in the system. There’s this huge segment of the population that has less than what they need to survive.” Yet when Wills went to the hospital, he said he was surprised by how “cordially” he was treated, even though he had no ID or insurance card.
Wills insists he will try the stunt again “as soon as I get a doctor’s clearance.” He wants the city to return to offering rental subsidies to the homeless, or find a place for the 52,000 people, including 22,000 kids, in public housing.
Legal Aid Society Attorney-in-Chief Steven Banks said that what Wills endured “what homeless New Yorkers go through every day … Being homeless makes existing medical problems worse. City agencies have to do more to prevent people from becoming homeless and get people on the streets and in shelters into actual homes.”