The Federal government has confirmed it: homelessness in New York City has reached record levels.
As we reported in this year's State of the Homeless, the number of men, women, and children experiencing homelessness has reached record levels. In fiscal year 2010, an all-time record 113,553 homeless people slept in the shelter system. And just this week, the Federal government released new data confirming that homelessness worsened significantly between 2009 and 2010 in New York City and State. For instance, the number of homeless families with children in New York City rose by 7.3 percent. A summary of the HUD data can be found here.
It's way past time for the City to implement real solutions. Send a letter to Mayor Bloomberg right now, asking him to use what we know works - permanent, affordable housing - to fight this homelessness crisis he helped create.
Under Mayor Bloomberg's watch, the city ended the cost-efficient and successful policy of giving qualified homeless families priority access to permanent, affordable housing options like public housing and Section 8 vouchers. Instead, the city has used bureaucratic, time-limited programs like "Advantage" that have become a revolving door back to the shelter system for thousands of homeless families. In fact, according to the City's data, nearly half of the record numbers of people entering shelters last year have been homeless before - almost double the rate before the Mayor put his failed programs in place.
Enough is enough. Yesterday we started a new campaign to collect letters to be delivered to Mayor Bloomberg. Help us collect 500 letters by the end of this week! We're asking him to immediately being using one in three available NYCHA public housing apartments and Section 8 vouchers to help homeless families and individuals move from shelters to permanent housing. This method has been consistently shown to move families out of shelter and keep them stably housed. Moreover, it saves City taxpayers millions of dollars.
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