State of the Homeless 2012: If Not Now, When?

Today Coalition for the Homeless released our State of the Homeless 2012 report, which documents a new record-high homeless shelter population in New York City – more than 43,000 people per night with more than 17,000 children, also an all-time record high.

You can read the full report here.

The report also highlights a plan advanced by the New York City Council and Speaker Christine Quinn which would dramatically reduce NYC homelessness and help thousands of homeless kids and families escape the shelter system and secure permanent housing. The only thing missing is Mayor Bloomberg’s agreement to enact the City Council plan.

In today’s New York Daily News, Tina Moore reported on the Coalition’s State of the Homeless 2012 report and the City Council plan:

The number of people living in city shelters in April marked a record monthly high, an advocacy group’s analysis of new figures from the Bloomberg administration reveals.

The Coalition for the Homeless reports that more than 43,000 homeless individuals – including 17,000 children, another all-time monthly high – stayed in shelters each night in April.

“These new record numbers of homeless New Yorkers are a direct result of Mayor Bloomberg’s complete lack of housing options for families trapped in emergency shelter,” said Mary Brosnahan, the Coalition’s executive director.

Grace Leon, 37, who has four children between the ages 5 and 15, has lived in a Brooklyn shelter since October 2010. She previously had an apartment through the Advantage program, but says she was evicted when the subsidy dried up.

“It’s hard on me as a parent,” she said. “I just keep my head up and hope that tomorrow will be better.”

The report recommends that the administration consider proposals backed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. She wants to move shelter residents into public housing or use federally funded Section 8 vouchers, as past administrations have done. She also proposes creating a new rental assistance program.

“The record homeless rates in New York City cannot continue to go unchecked,” the 2013 mayoral hopeful said.

Steven Banks, chief attorney at the Legal Aid Society, said it has been common for a mayoral administration to hand down its homeless problem to its successor.

“Over the past three decades, the last year or so of transition between administrations has led to substantial issues in the shelter system, as the lingering problems of one administration are passed on to the next,” he said.

Leave a Reply