Today’s Read: Population at City Homeless Shelters Hits Record High
This week, the Coalition for the Homeless released our 2018 State of the Homeless report, Fate of a Generation: How the City and State Can Tackle Homelessness by Bringing Housing Investment to Scale. The annual report offers a comprehensive analysis of record homelessness, including a “report card” grading the City and State on their efforts to address the crisis. The urgent need for more action is clear: At the end of 2017, an average of 63,495 men, women, and children slept in NYC shelters each night – an all-time record.
The Coalition’s report lists recommendations for how the City and State can both improve conditions and services in shelters, and increase permanent housing resources to reduce homelessness. One of the primary recommendations is for Mayor de Blasio to increase the number of units for homeless households created under the Housing New York 2.0 plan from 15,000 to 30,000, including 24,000 newly constructed, deeply subsidized units and 6,000 preservation units. Take action on this issue by signing our housing petition, and read the other recommendations here.
Jillian Jorgensen covered the report for the Daily News:
“It’s a huge amount of people,” Giselle Routhier, policy director at Coalition for the Homeless, said. “There’s only nine cities in the entire state that have populations greater than our shelter system.”
It comes a year into Mayor de Blasio’s “Turning the Tide Plan,” which only aims to cut the shelter population by 2,500. The coalition has been calling on de Blasio to help the homeless through one of his other plans — to build affordable housing. They want him to set aside at least 10% of units for the homeless.
“We put housing front and center for a reason, because that’s actually what we know works,” she said.
The report grades the city and the state in various areas — and the only Fs went to the state, which the coalition argued is part of the problem when it comes to growing shelter populations by sending parolees into shelters.
“The city has done actually quite a bit. We grade them quite highly on homeless prevention,” Routhier said, citing efforts to stop evictions. “At the same time the state is doing literally no discharge planning for folks coming out of state prison and sending them straight to shelters.”