Is It Time Yet, Mayor Bloomberg?

Mayor Bloomberg said there would be “plenty of time…after the election” to talk about homelessness.

With NYC homelessness at all-time record levels, is it time yet?

Back on August 10th, according to the New York Daily News’ Daily Politics blog, Mayor Bloomberg was asked about record family homelessness and New York City’s growing homeless population.  His response:

“Bloomberg acknowledged there has been a spike in homeless families in the city and nationally because of the recession, but said there will be ‘plenty of time’ to debate this issue ‘after the election.'”

Now, most New Yorkers — ourselves included — would probably prefer that issues like worsening homelessness be discussed before an election instead of afterwards.  But even leaving aside this not insignificant detail, it has been, by our count, 35 days since election day.  And Mayor Bloomberg still has not said anything about homelessness.

This despite the fact that the Mayor’s 2004 five-year homeless plan has lapsed and failed to reduce homelessness by two-thirds, as he promised.

This despite the fact that the rising homeless shelter population — now more than 39,000 people per night, including more than 16,000 children — is at all-time record levels.

This despite the fact that the municipal shelter system is literally running out of beds for homeless single adults.

Back on August 10th, Mayor Bloomberg also said, “We’re going in the right direction.”  Well, if this is the “right direction,” we’d hate to see what the wrong direction looks like.

And amidst this historic homelessness crisis in New York City, we think it’s well past time for the Mayor and other NYC leaders to start talking about solutions to the problem of homelessness.