What’s Behind the Rise in City Homeless Shelter Numbers?

After Bill de Blasio’s first year in office, City Limits took a look at the state of the city’s homelessness epidemic. Though de Blasio had been elected on promises to reverse the unabated rise in homelessness, by the end of his first year, the shelter count had shot up from 53,000 to 59,000 individuals. Many advocates, however, encouraged by a number of reforms set in motion by the mayor, appeared patient for the trend to reverse—even as some called for more and swifter action.

A look at year two is not so rosy as the administration would like, though not as incriminating as critics would have it. Homelessness declined to about 55,700 by July 2015, falsely raising hopes of a successful turnaround, then rose again to over 58,400 by January 2016. As of Monday, it had dipped down to 57,830. Some argue that the rate is steadying, though not everyone is so hopeful.

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