NYC Homeless Clusters, Hotels Filled With Broken Toilets, Lead Paint, Mouse Poop, Report Finds

As of November 2016, 62,840 people were homeless in New York City, including 24,251 children, according to Coalition for the Homeless

Hundreds of the city’s homeless are living in deplorable conditions that include peeling lead paint, malfunctioning toilets and mouse droppings, an investigative report by the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) revealed Thursday.

Dirty walls, charred stovetops, bent and rusted latches on cabinets and refrigerators, moldy ceilings, and smoke detectors haphazardly covered in plastic bags are just a few of the unliveable conditions homeless families are forced to deal with daily.

Hairdressers Dole Out Blankets to Homeless New Yorkers

Colette Morales, a hair stylist at Who Does Your Hair? in Bellmore, was walking down 5th Avenue in Manhattan on Jan. 9 when she saw a homeless man wearing lightweight pants curled up into a ball. This man planned to stay warm at a McDonald’s that night, when the temperature cooled to 15 degrees.

“If he keeps buying coffee, they can’t throw him out,” said Morales.

The very next day Morales posted on Facebook that she would collect blankets until Jan. 15 to warm those who are living on the streets of New York City. She immediately received several responses, and her first donation by 4 p.m. Her co-worker, Lauren Lupola, also shared the message and immediately offered her assistance.

“Lauren and I are very similar in that we have an abundance of compassion for people and we connect on that level tremendously,” said Morales.

On Jan. 15, the two women drove into New York City and personally handed out the blankets to anyone they saw sleeping on the streets.

“A little interaction, you know? I think it’s a big thing that’ll mean a lot to them instead of just going to the shelter and picking it out,” said Lupola last week, before the trip.

If people would like to donate blankets, but could make it to the salon in time, Morales and Lupola are willing to extend the deadline for drop-offs.

Report: De Blasio Beats Bloomberg On Homelessness But That’s Not Saying Much

A few of Mayor de Blasio’s tactics for moving homeless families out of shelter and into permanent housing appear to be working, according to a new report [PDF] from the Coalition for the Homeless. But these gains aren’t making a dent in the overall shelter population as people continue to enter the system at a near-record pace.

Since 2013, the report shows, the number of homeless families returning to the shelter system has decreased by 13 percent. The number of people entering the system for the first time, however, has increased 45 percent.

“While the City and the Mayor have taken important steps to combat homelessness, bold action is still required to remedy this unprecedented crisis,” said Coalition for the Homeless policy director Giselle Routhier.

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