Thursday, April 1, 2010 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

No April Fools Unemployment Benefits are Expiring for 46,000 New Yorkers

This week, it is anticipated that as many as 46,000 New Yorkers - 23,000 in NYC - will lose their unemployment insurance.

This news is truly devastating. So many of these men and women are on the brink of homelessness as it is. How long will it take before they are faced with the reality that they can no longer afford a place to live or food to eat?

As the economy took a dip and unemployment was on the rise, the Coalition saw the need for our services dramatically increase.

As it stands right now:

  • City shelters are at 98% capacity, with over 39,000 New Yorkers homeless.
  • Each morning, the Coalition has men, women, and children lining up at our doors as early as two hours before we open for our Crisis Intervention Program. Our counselors assist them in obtaining shelter, benefits, treatment, and other necessities.
  • Our Eviction Prevention Program is stretched to the limits, forcing us to turn away dozens of clients each week for small grants that would prevent a family from becoming homeless, saving the city $38,000 per year per family.
  • Those who have housing, but are disabled or unemployed and simply can't afford a good meal are lining up in record numbers for our Grand Central Food Program.
  • Women, frustrated with their inability to find a living-wage job, are finding relief in our First Step Program.

There is no doubt that with this "unprecedented" number being dropped from the benefit roles, the need for emergency services and shelter will be on the rise.

This is only the beginning. More people will be added to their ranks next month, and the month after that. Fortunately, the Coalition will be there to fight for their right to decent shelter, sufficient food, and a life with dignity.

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