Homeless Single Adult Population Continues to Increase

This past month, the number of homeless single adults continued to climb, despite the onset of summer which normally brings a decrease in the number of adults in shelter. At the end of June, the number of homeless single adults was higher than any other time since 2005. Previous to 2005, we have not seen this many people in shelter since 1991.

As of June 2010, there were an average of 8,382 homeless single men and women in City shelters each night. In March of this year, that number was 8,328, following a crisis in which the City literally ran out of shelter beds.

The continued increase in the number of homeless men and women is truly worrisome and indicative of the serious problems currently facing the City. High unemployment, especially among low-wage workers, remains a huge factor leading to homelessness among many adults. Studies conducted this year concluded that the unemployment rate for the lowest-earning Americans was a staggering 30 percent!

Additionally, low-wage workers with a job still face huge gaps between their income and the cost of living in New York City, a problem that the new Commissioner of Homeless Services plans on ignoring with his “work-first” approach to homelessness.

And still, the shortage of affordable housing and supportive housing continues to plague the city and make it more and more difficult for homeless individuals and families to obtain and maintain independence.

There are many factors working against the homeless and this is all the more reason the Mayor and the City need to step up and provide some real and lasting solutions.

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