Zuccotti Park has become a haven for the homeless.It won't be long before the "protesters" are back living in the homeless shelters. A lot warmer in there. Better yet, all those celebutards down there for photo ops should volunteer to take "their people" in.
Enticed by the allure of free food and a community of open-minded people, increasing numbers are leaving New York's shelters to join the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
"I think this is a better situation to be involved with," said Matthew Maloney, 49, who was released from prison on Sept. 30 after serving time for a probation violation.
Maloney moved into a shelter in Staten Island and learned about Occupy Wall Street while watching television. Then the ex-con headed to Zuccotti Park on Oct. 13 and never left.
"I am around a good cause and around positive people, rather than in that other environment," he said.
Maloney has drifted in and out of the state prison system for more than three decades for a variety of crimes, including robbery and possession of stolen property.
"Everybody is being real with each other here," he said. "This is like a 'Twilight Zone.'"
Bronx couple Yvette Vigo and Orlando Nieves say they were forced into a shelter a year ago when they could not afford their rent.
They are in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which decries corporate greed and social inequality. The couple intends to stay at the park as long as possible.
"I feel safer out here than I did in a shelter," Vigo, 45, said. "It's a big area with a lot of kind people."
Here's a look at some of the "open-minded" people.