At Penn Station, dozens of homeless people sat quietly amid the Christmas decorations as travelers headed home for the holidays.
If New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has his way, they and others who camp out on city streets will be moved into shelters as the city boosts its team of outreach workers in the coming weeks.
Experts in homelessness say it won’t be easy—and some of the homeless agree.
Hundreds of new school buses are on the way to homeless children after an I-Team report last month exposed some students in shelters traveling more than four hours a day on subways just to get to and from school.
In an exclusive interview, Mayor de Blasio said he was moved by the I-Team story. In response, he promised to have a bus available for every homeless child not within walking distance of school by Jan. 19.
While Mayor Bill de Blasio works on the details of a 15-year, $2.6 billion supportive housing program to address homelessness, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is creating a statewide plan to reduce homelessness. New York should draw on approaches that have helped in the past as well as those that seem promising, especially supportive housing, which offers job training, debt counseling, mental health care, and other crucial services to residents in an effort to stop the revolving door of homelessness.
We all have to start by acknowledging reality: homelessness is a chronic New York problem, as we can tell from walking the streets or reviewing simple statistics. On any given night the number of people sleeping in shelters is close to 60,000 — 25,000 are children.