From the NY Times:
Carlos Ruano was down to his last $50 when his landlord kicked him out in September because he could no longer pay rent. He sent the money to his wife and children in Guatemala and spent the night riding the E train, which has a nickname among his fellow day laborers in Woodside, Queens: “hotel ambulante,” Spanish for roving hotel.
Mr. Ruano, 38, who had drawn his living from 69th Street and Broadway for six years, has been on the streets since. He and other hard-luck day laborers have slept wherever they can: in the emergency room at Elmhurst Hospital Center, in unfinished buildings abandoned by bankrupt developers and under bridges along the freight railroad tracks that slice through western Queens, where dirty mattresses and work boots lay on the rocky ground one recent morning.
With their isolation and day-to-day existence, the laborers are perhaps the most invisible and hardest-to-reach victims of the recession, advocates and city officials say.
No one knows for sure how many have become homeless since the downturn brought construction projects to a virtual standstill and sapped them of jobs that once paid as much as $200 a day. Most of them are illegal immigrants who may be on the streets one day and off the next, depending on their work.
The rules of the shelter system do not suit them, they said. They might be placed too far from the job pickup site or miss curfew if a job runs too late or is too far from the shelter.
Afraid that their immigration status might be exposed — outreach workers might ask for identification, though the shelters are open to everyone — they say they would rather sleep outside.
I guess this was written in response to the outrage at the soup kitchen that's been set up at Hart Park. Your heart is supposed to bleed for them instead of being pissed off about how they've ruined our quality of life.