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A Night on the Streets

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Damian
3:30 a.m., Harlem

It’s known as the Bat Cave, a long alleyway at 134th Street and Broadway, just north of the Harlem Fairway store. In 2006, the city started clearing homeless encampments, including this one. Damian, 38, is one of a few people who have stayed. Tonight, the holdouts are drinking around a fire in a garbage can. Damian’s been living here for two years, and on the street for six. He collects cans for money and washes up at a shelter. He doesn’t sleep there, though. “Every time I got something valuable, they’d steal it,” he says. When his mother comes by the Bat Cave looking for him, Damian hides.


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