Number of New Homeless NYC Families Hits All-Time Record

Coalition for the Homeless has released some alarming new data showing the early and dramatic impact of the economic recession on New York City homelessness.

The Coalition’s recent policy brief (available here) documents how, in September, 1,464 new homeless families entered the New York City shelter system – the highest number in the 25 years that the City has tracked this data, and the third consecutive month that the number of new homeless families has reached all-time record levels. The Coalition’s alarming findings were reported by the New York Times and the New York Daily News.

Following is the text of the Coalition’s news release:

Coalition for the Homeless Reports New Homeless Families Entering Shelter Hits Record High

NEW YORK, October 29, 2008 – Today, Coalition for the Homeless released a briefing paper showing that 1,464 newly homeless families entered the New York City shelter system in September, a record high. In each of the past three months, the City has recorded a new all-time record for new homeless families – each month eclipsing the prior month. This is the greatest number of new entrants to the family system since the city began keeping records 25 years ago.

Combined with the economic downturn and impending job losses, 2008 is on target to see the all-time highest number of new homeless families seeking shelter since modern homelessness began in the late 1970s. Food pantries, eviction prevention and crisis intervention services for homeless families have already experienced budget cuts this year.

“These numbers clearly show that, while both City and State budget shortfalls require difficult choices, vulnerable New Yorkers now need more support, not less,” said Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director of Coalition for the Homeless. “Shared sacrifice has to mean that all New Yorkers – not just those that depend on government services – pay the price. The Mayor and the Governor should consider not only more cuts but also increased revenues.”