The NYC Homeless Population Is at Its Highest Level Since the Great Depression

homeless.jpeg
Remember when Mayor Bloomberg said a few weeks ago, "Nobody's sleeping on the streets"? Well...

At that time, the Coalition of the Homeless furiously responded by telling reporters that there was "no accurate measurement of New York City's unsheltered homeless population, and recent city surveys significantly underestimate the number of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers." So, almost immediately, City Hall released a quick statement, arguing that its main vocalist had misquoted himself and meant to say that he was simply rounding down (... to zero).

And then, yesterday, this became news.

The Coalition for the Homeless released a report to the press, stating that the population of those living in shelters has topped 50,000 for the first time since Great Depression. The number is 50,135, on average, to be exact. And a little less than half of that number consists of children.

Unfortunately, as spectacular as that landmark seems, it shouldn't come as much surprise.

This summer, we reported on the accelerating rate of New York City's homeless population; a pace that left the city's Department of Human Services dumbfounded, in a rush to open up additional shelters across the five boroughs. Then, the number was still hovering just below 50,000 -- a figure that demonstrated an astounding 18 percent jump in only one year. FYI: this was seven months ago.

But, even then, the Bloomberg administration admitted that the enormous spike was its own fault: by scalping the Advantage program, which subsidized housing for those in shelters willing to work 20 hours a week, an alternative to the homeless population immediately disappeared at the end of 2011. Also, by law, the city must provide some sort of refuge for the homeless. So, with these two parallel actions, the shelters are filling up but no one's leaving them.

This point was brought up by The Daily News yesterday: Homeless shelter applications are actually down but, once again, the city admitted the 50,000 mark can be attributed to a lack of government intervention. That might help explain the whole Great Depression thing -- when City Hall is financially unable to provide an escape from the shelter, it's only natural that this is going to happen.

At least our elected officials can admit that to themselves.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]


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4 comments
aghast27
aghast27

In new york one can get section 8 vouchers more quickly if "homeless".  For a government handout many able bodied women put themselves and their children in that situation.  Sad but true.  The homeless shelter with your children is a fast track to subsidized housing.  Its playing the system at its finest. 

hanna_preserve
hanna_preserve

Here, in Pennsylvania, thousands of former New Yorkers and other transplants along with the natives, have created 76 taxpayer advocacy groups to fight against more taxes.

Even though so many New Yorkers, I speak to on a regular basis, have given up hope in getting government reduced in size and public school funding changed to something like what we, here in Pa are fighting for, it is only the voice of the people that rules the day, when voices become louder than the political rhetoric.

 76 Pa taxpayer advocacy groups have joined forces as the PTCC (Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition) via facebook because, as long as we are breathing, we will be paying an average of $300./month and a lot more, as the school seasons tick by, to our local public school district or we will lose the roof over our heads. .... Until we get HB/SB76 passed, no matter who you are, what your income, or how long you live, your home or business property will be seized if you ever stop paying your School Property Tax. .... You can move from state to state, home to home, own to rent and back again. Until we get HB/SB76 passed, you cannot hide from the gun your school board is holding against your head. ... When we, here in Pennsylvania, get HB/SB76 passed, we will set the example for the rest of America to follow.
............................
The HB/SB76 article, just published in Transactions, a community banks trade magazine is now helping explain this bill and how passing/enacting it will propel Pennsylvania's stagnant economy into high gear.... business owners, RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES, unemployed, construction workers, teachers, realtors,... should understand how HB/SB76 will help everyone, including themselves, if only we can get the word out to them. http://www.ptcc.us/https://www.facebook.com/groups/pataxpayers/?fref=ts

Gallery Freerange
Gallery Freerange

Absolutely gut-wrenching. So many are being squeezed and without help most are so close to homelessness they can taste it.

hanna_preserve
hanna_preserve

@Gallery Freerange Those still with a roof over their heads could take a moment out of one's busy day and write a quick note to an elected official. I use www.congress.org ... Even IF the government is NOT listening, a call or a note in their direction is better than silence.

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