Homeless Bused Out of Grand CentralANDREW MANGAN , Associated Press
Feb. 12, 1985 6:19 AM ET
NEW YORK (AP) _ Metro North and city police moved through Grand Central Station early today and rousted the 150 to 200 homeless people taking refuge there, loading them into vans that whisked them off to city shelters.
The operation was carried out under a new Metropolitan Transportation Authority policy calling for the station to close from 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. and for all homeless people inside at closing time to be shipped to city shelters.
The decision to close Grand Central came after weeks of allowing the homeless to stay in the station through the night rather than turn them out into the sub-freezing temperatures of recent weeks.
But the number of homeless, some desperate and others emotionally disturbed, had been steadily increasing, turning the terminal into a shelter and creating an increase in crime, MTA officials said.
''While it might have been out of a good heart, it didn't help anybody, including the homeless,'' said Mayor Edward Koch.
About a half-dozen city vans were stationed outside the terminal exit at 42nd Street early today, providing juice and sandwiches to the homeless before their tranfer to city shelters.
Inside the station, Susan Gilbert, director of public affairs for Metro- North, said the railroad did not intend to ''kick people out into freezing weather.'' But, she said, the increasing amount of homeless people in the station forced a change in policy.
One of the homeless men waiting to be taken to a shelter laughed when asked about whether security was provided at the shelters.
''Security 3/8'' shouted the man, who said he was 55 and named Marrshyle. ''Insecurity is more like it.''