How A Simple Change In The City’s Homeless Strategy Is Bringing More People Indoors

The city’s outreach to homeless people in the subway system has successfully diverted hundreds of individuals into housing through a program that offers an alternative to group shelters, officials say.

When the subway started closing overnight in May, the city began intensive outreach, sending more teams to end-of-line subway stations to bring homeless people to shelters. At first, few of them were willing to come indoors. But seven months later, 640 people have left the subways and now have a roof over their heads, according to city figures. A key reason is that the city has expanded the use of so-called stabilization beds—rooms in single room occupancy buildings and hotels—adding 1,109 so far this year.