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New York's Homelessness Worst Since The Great Depression

Published: March 5, 2013
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Source: Zero Hedge

State and local governments nationwide have struggled to accommodate a homeless population that has changed in recent years - now including large numbers of families with young children. As the WSJ reports, more than 21,000 children - an unprecedented 1% of the city's youth - slept each night in a city shelter in January, an increase of 22% in the past year; as homeless families now spend more than a year in a shelter, on average, for the first time since 1987. New York City has seen one of the steepest increases in homeless families in the past decade, advocates said, growing 73% since 2002, and "is facing a homeless crisis worse than any time since the Great Depression."

Homeless advocates said the Obama administration has focused on more visible problems, such as those sleeping on the streets, taking resources away from families. The steep rise has reignited questions about whether New York's economic turnaround of the past two decades has helped the city's poorest residents as they note (despite today's Dow record highs), "the economy is nowhere near where it was."

The blame apparently lies at the cessation of 'entitlements' as the DHS adds, since the end - in Spring 2011 - of a state-funded program that subsidized rent for people leaving shelters; homeless families have gone up 35%; but they also added that the city was working to find employment for the homeless, "a long-term solution." Boston and Washington DC are also seeing homeless numbers surge.

 

Via WSJ,

An average of more than 50,000 people slept each night in New York City's homeless shelters for the first time in January, a record that underscores an unsettling national trend: a rising number of families without permanent housing.

Families have become a larger share of the nation's homeless population, growing 1.4% from 2011 to 2012, after their numbers fell as the economy emerged from recession.

...

More than 21,000 children—an unprecedented 1% of the city's youth—slept each night in a city shelter in January, an increase of 22% in the past year, the report said, while homeless families now spend more than a year in a shelter, on average, for the first time since 1987. In January, an average of 11,984 homeless families slept in shelters each night, a rise of 18% from a year earlier.

"New York is facing a homeless crisis worse than any time since the Great Depression," said Mary Brosnahan, president of the Coalition for the Homeless.

...

New York City has seen one of the steepest increases in homeless families in the past decade, advocates said, growing 73% since 2002.

...

The steep rise has reignited questions about whether New York's economic turnaround of the past two decades has helped the city's poorest residents.

...

"The economy is nowhere near where it was," said Seth Diamond, commissioner of the city's Department of Homeless Services. He pointed to the end of a state-funded program that subsidized rent for people leaving shelters, which ended in spring 2011; homeless families have gone up 35% since, according to shelter records.

...

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