The tabloid reported earlier this week that a group of about 50 homeless people have been sleeping inside the terminal before the security checkpoint. CBS 2 reported that the individuals—who have been sleeping, bathing, and eating there—sought out the terminal because it was safer than sleeping in a shelter. "It’s safe. It’s clean. It’s heated. It’s air-conditioned. There’s food there," former Department of Homeless Services Deputy Commissioner Robert Mascali told the station. A homeless man named Murrell told the Post, "There ain’t nowhere else for me to go that is warm and safe like here."
Now, though, Murrell and others seeking shelter will have to leave. Port Authority officials say they'll be closing the terminal to the general public at 11 p.m. "To meet our public-safety mandate, we will close the La Guardia terminal to all but ticketed passengers during late-night hours,” the agency said in a statement.
Passengers and workers complained to the press about the homeless population at the airport. "They have taken over,” one female worker told the Post. “You can’t even use the bathroom. They take showers. They hang their clothes on the stalls. They are butt-naked. They think they are in their house.”
The new policy will go into effect on January 2nd.