Day laborers are again in the news for the plight they face in day-to-day living and the significant portion of them who are homeless. Yesterday's article in the Queens Courier illustrates the difficulties and also points out that not all day-laborers are men. Ms. Martinez is one of many women who also face the difficulty of finding work and shelter on a daily basis in New York City. She has two young daughters and "spends her days on a corner crowded with women just like her, looking for temporary, menial jobs that will help to feed their families."
There are approximately 8,283 day laborers in New York City and almost one-third of them are homeless, according to a report cited in the article. However, many day laborers are afraid to request help for fear of incarceration and deportation if they are undocumented. And according to the report, La Esquina, cited in the article, 74 percent of day laborers in New York City are undocumented. In January, a homeless day laborer froze to death in Staten Island.
Those that are not homeless generally live in severely overcrowded apartments, presenting immediate risks to their safety.
All of these factors combine to exacerbate the problem faced by many of these individuals and their families. More services and efforts should be targeted towards this specific population, especially where many of them reside: in Queens. Specifically outreach efforts and a reassurance that shelter is safe for them would be a start.blog comments powered by Disqus