New York Is Ripping Up the Playbook on How It Shelters the Homeless

As Mayor Bill De Blasio headed toward reelection in 2017, he announced an ambitious plan to address one of New York City’s most intractable problems.

Over the next five years, he said, the city would open 90 new homeless shelters. Gone would be the patchwork quilt of private apartments and commercial hotel rooms rented simply to put a roof over someone’s head. In their place would be a consolidated system of shelters designed not only to house the homeless but connect them to social services in neighborhoods where they already had roots.

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