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When journalists watch Mayor Bloomberg ladle soup at a food kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, I hope they ask serious questions. Sadly, most news stations will opt to report the "heartwarming" angle of his one-hour photo op. After all, he only works for $1 a year and is taking time from his busy schedule to help those in need...
A new report finds 41,204 people slept in homeless shelters on October 31st, the highest single night total in New York City history. According to statistics from the Department of Homeless Services, the record high is a 9% increase from October 2010 and 33% higher than when Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002.
The number of homeless children also reached a new peak, with 16,934 sleeping in a shelter in the five boroughs on October 31st. The report comes the same day the City Council is holding a hearing on Mayor Bloomberg's plan to tighten access to shelters for single adults. What do you say?
What's your reaction to the record 41,204 people sleeping in shelters last week? How would you grade the Bloomberg administration's handling of homelessness? Should the City make it more difficult for single adults to enter the system?
Also, if you have a suggestion for tonight's Snap Poll question, send it along. Be sure to include three possible responses.
Send your thoughts using the link above.
If these numbers are an indication of the current Mayor and his administration's ability to take care of those among us who have fallen on very hard times, then I would have to give them a big fat F! On the streets we all see the seriously impaired homeless who will not even go to a shelter out of fear and most likely the inability to cope due to mental illness. This is the shame of the city, and the U.S. A. as well. Those wall street fat cats could fund every single needed bed and open more space to care for the homeless and it would be a drop in the bucket to them. That might go a long way to repairing what's left of their image. Yeah, I know, dream on...
Thank you to "The Call" for covering this sad state of affairs.
it is appalling that new yorkers find the rise in homelessness acceptable. what used to be one of the most progressive countries in the world has become an embarrassment. I hope "occupy wall street" will address not only the 1% filthy stinking rich, but to keep social security and decrease homelessness.
IN NEW YORK WE DON'T PRODUCE JOBS ANYMORE, JUST LOOK AT THE FASHION AVENUE DISTRICT. WE NOW PRODUCE HOMELESSNESS AND PROMOTE THE WAREHOUSING OF CHILDREN. THE NUMBERS HAVE TO MEAN THERE ARE MORE HOMELESS FOLKS. THESE NUMBERS ARE JUST WHAT WAS RECORDED AND DOCUMENTED. TREAT YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE THEY DO NOT COUNT, AND YOU WILL SEE THE FRUITS FROM THAT TREE LATER ON. HOW'S THE HOMELESS? HOUSE THE HOMELESS!
JOE, BAY TERRACE
Some one these are deadbeat leaches.
These figures are a telling reminder that while Mayor Bloomberg and, more recently, Governor Cuomo have been shepherding the economy to their best ability on a "macro" level -- and boasting about it, especially our mayor -- the amount of personal dislocation is growing faster than their ability to cope with it.
Our so-called leaders should be ashamed.
Upper West Side
If your homeless your homeless single, married whatever, and given the economy and the high rents there will more homeless in all categories.
The bloomberg administration's handling of the homeless situation gets a resounding F for FAILURE. I cannot imagine a more pressing issue than this, especially with winter about to bear down upon us. I have asked this before, and I will ask it again, how does this man sleep at night? This is a man who uses each Thanksgiving Day as a photo-op, in a homeless shelter/soup kitchen to sell himself as a good humanitarian, as he serves the holiday meal. He is a complete phoney and we all know it.
Why should a homeless shelter turn anyone, single or otherwise, away?
The mayor is making it harder to get in the shelter system but everyday ppl are losing their jobs which mean losing their hones or apartment. I have several family members that went in the shelter system in the last two yrs. In now they are about to be homeless again because the city cut the advantage program
That's terrible news. I think it would be even more if the city shelters were clean, safe places. There are many homeless who prefer the streets or the subways cause they feel safer there.
Of course, keep on taxing the middle class for everybody, cut jobs, send the jobs overseas, keep this Middle East Invasion thing going, kill off small businesses with the bike lanes all the while keeping the rich taxless and happy. Then wonder why the homeless shelters are full - bigger question - who is going to pay for all of this and with what.
Esmerelda, East Village, NYC
I am not surprised at all. I spent from August 2010 to May of this year in a shelter and all 200 beds were filled. The lack of jobs and the lack of affordable housing in NY has reached an all time high. Single adults are the most prone to becoming homeless because of a lack of jobs and support from family and friends. The cost of living here is also at a record high and the wages are low. It will only get worse if something isn't done to boost the economy here in NY. JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!!!
The homeless are not aided by government robbing Homeowner Peter to pay Homeless Paul.
Assuming the homeless actually want to work and not live off government handouts, then there need to be more jobs. You get more jobs by telling the government at all levels to take a walk, to get their dirty, stinking fingers out of the marketplace.
None of the homeless organizations would agree with this because operating these organizations is their job. If there are no homeless, there are no homeless advocates or shelter operators. They would be out of a job. So to keep their job, they have to make sure that there are as many homeless people on the streets as possible.
Port Richmond, SI
Mayor Bloomberg is acting very irresponsibly on this issue. What did he think was going to happen when rent control programs were dissolved on his watch and there are no protections for working poor families! He should be ashamed of himself. I thought he was a forward thinking leader! On this issue, he lacks vision, clearly ignorant and he just doesn't care!
As a hospital inpatient psych social worker, I see firsthand the cost of homelessness within the mentally ill population. They do not have the skills or the money to be able to rent an apartment and care for themselves. They oftentimes sever ties with family or simply wear out their welcomes so they cannot return home. They have few social supports. Substance abuse rates are high. There is some specialized housing but for one person with access to this housing, there are 10 more that are either deemed "inappropriate," "ineligible," too noncompliant with services," and so on. In addition to this, some mentally ill people do not like the rules the often accompany living in a facility like that. So if Mr. Bloomberg wants to eliminate shelter spots, he needs to overhaul the housing system for the mentally ill, not to simply kick them to the streets where they will inevitably wind up in our jails and hospitals, a much higher price to pay than a night in the shelter.
He has a lot of nerve, in the "greatest city on earth" according to him! How dare he say, single, married, whatever...who gives him the right to decide the needs of people; it's a reality...he lives in a rich world with rose colored glasses!
Instead of focusing on the numbers, why isn't the system doing a reality check to see why this is happening? People are out of work!!! Attorneys are having a field day with this and getting people evicted right and left so that the landlords jack the rent up even higher!
The rent control board keeps raising the rent so that the average person needs to work 2 and 1/2 for rent alone. Meantime the landlord has their ear to keep raising the rent to pay for taxes and costs. I thought the owner should have expenses to run their property. The value of the property should be borrowed against if the owner can't afford the basics, after-all the value keeps going up faster than the expenses and much faster than others income!!!!
Either the city wants to make provisions or it doesn't for the needy. I line should be drawn if someone is honestly not trying to help themselves, but, the wealthy know what they have created for the rest of us. Or are they just that out of touch with reality?
It's an outrage that they want proof! Who in the hell wants to be in a homeless shelter. Shaking my Head!
Midland Beach, Staten Island
The City policies has failed the homeless. The economy has created a vacuum where so many individuals can't pay even the so called Affordable/Moderate Rents. However, you have to keep in mind that out of the 41,284 recorded there are 10, 000 that are repeaters with an array of underlying issues such as substance abuse, mental illness, trauma, limited education and no employment history. The homeless shelter system has house thousandth of people, and some has been house 15 times through Supportive Housing initiatives and continue to either get evicted and repeat this cycle. Before we go around pointing fingers of who to blame, everyone is to blame: The City Policies, The Economy and The people the shelter are suppose to help. Thank you
The mayor wants to talk about weeding out fraud? To me something is terribly wrong when the city will pay rent to the sum of $1800.00 dollars a month for a two bedroom in South Bronx; hundreds more than the rent that homeless persons was trying to pay before getting evicted.
And I believe the reason that so many people are in the shelters last month is pay offs in the housing courts to the judges presiding over these cases. The weather is getting colder so time to boot these tenants out of their apts now.
Yes , there is fraud. And the homeless person pays the price.
i truly believe mr. bloomberg gold is to run out the poor and middle class people out of the city,his plan is to have everything to fail so that the people he wants out of the city would leave,and his plan would be acommpolish
Bloomberg is worried about homeless fraud but stand up for the people who perpetrated the biggest fraud on the American people... His Wall st buddies!
Mayor Bloomberg has stayed too long at the dance, and he wasn't even invited. Shelters are like jails I agree with the first caller, he broke my heart. As a nurse I see more and more homeless coming into the ER hoping we won't kick them out. There are nights when I swear I'm in the old bowery, not in a hospital. There are a lot of desperate people out there. The Mayor is like Marie Antionette, "let them eat cake", he's clueless he gets a big fat F.
Bloomberg has enough money and energy to make the city appealing to tourists along sixth avenue but pays no attention to the problems at hand such as the homeless issue. There shouldnt be any extra screenings, people dont choose to stay at a shelter if theres no need to. His idea is absurd and should not be passed. Homeless people have voices too and should not be turned away because they have no proof!
If the Occupy Wall Street protestors downtown can create a relatively dignified and safe environment to eat and sleep in out of NOTHING, with only a fraction of the resources that the City of New York is supposed to have, why is the City government still unable to provide decent shelter for homeless people on a similar scale? Maybe we should all start occupying all these warehoused buildings across the five boroughs, and use some of that "Ring of Steel" money to house the mentally ill. That might undo some of the homeless mess that we've been dealing with for the last 30 years.
Lower East Side
Having worked in emergency rooms at Bellevue Hospital Center (one of the city's largest public hospitals) for over 2 years now, I feel lucky compared to my colleagues in other cities across the US to be able to send undomiciled patients to shelters after being discharged from the hospital. However, I worry when these patients return to the ER bruised and assaulted. There's no point in having shelters if those who need it the most, fear staying there in the first place. A safety net is pointless if it has a huge hole in the middle.
Michael Bloomberg has handled this situation as he handled every other situation he was confronted with since he's been Mayor. No compassion, no regard and no clue. Perhaps he should spend a couple of night in a shelter. Then reevaluate him self.
If the Mayor would stop putting flower pots and lawn furniture and bike lanes all over town we'd have more money. This guy is completely out of touch.
Fed up NYC
I WAS APART OF THE ADVANTAGE PROGRAM. IT WAS SUPPOSE TO LAST TWO YEARS AND IT FAILED. BEING A MOTHER RETURNING TO COLLEGE WITH TWO AUSTISTIC CHILDREN, IT IS A SCARY TIME AND I SEE NO HOUSING IN SIGHT, AT LEAST IN NYC.
i think what the Mayor is trying to say is people should start making better choices with their lives. homelessness doesn't happen overnight. it happens when people make bad choices, such as having multiple children they can't afford, dropping out of school rather than working hard in school and graduating, living beyond their means, not saving $$. what happened to self responsibility?!
Why is it that the mayer spent more time on planting threes then he did on the Homeless
Wade From NY
The great businessman that Emperor Bloomberg is supposed to be he should not act so surprised by the rise in homelessness in "his" city. When you either cut people's salaries or eliminate jobs completely and rents that have risen to unreal levels, people will not have a place to live. And to all these ignorant sycophants who go along with the Mayor and his fantasy world I hope you one day fall beneath the cracks and your friends the millionaires throw you some crumbs.
I don't agree with the city regarding single people If have family members with homes they can stay with them! I have a niece who was told to leave the shelter with her 3 children 1 of them has asthma because she didn't qualified because she has family members in the city! Now I have a big family where will my niece and her kids sleep on the floor! This city is going down in shambles!
This is an outright insult that a Billionaire can start initiating a policy by putting homeless people under a microscope to see if they really deserve to be in a shelter and it is not being abused! ABUSED! Who would ever want to be in a homeless shelter unless they were really desperate and did not have family and friends willing or able to put them up?? How horrible is that to ever have to live in a homeless shelter -- which by the way are infested with crime. What about the children who are homeless -- what happens to them? Should they sleep on the streets??? I don't ever want to see homeless children on city streets -- what are we becoming a third world country?
I can only hope that what Christine Quinn has said is actually the truth -- that she believes that this is harassment and an outright attack on homeless people. But tell me -- does the City Council ever really vote against the Bloomberg Administration? Is there really a check and balance system going on there??
Mayor Bloomberg should not be in Washington advising the Super Committee on how to balance their budget. Look at what he does when it comes to the NYC budget -- all cuts, cuts, cuts. Cuts to social services, FDNY, NYPD and of course his notorious ongoing cuts to the NYC Public Schools.
As the majority of people now agree -- education is your disaster Mayor Bloomberg. Try fixing it and let Washington do its job!
Lisa - Upper east side
All Bloomberg (the rich) thinks about is his money, thats all the rich people thinks about,
they don't care about the helpless and needy. Politicians in the whole play politics to
capture people to GAIN VOTES. A TRUE politician would have come and reach the
poor themselves, provide food and shelter, help people who are not gettings jobs to
place in a suitable position. Some people don't get hard time to find a job because
their family/relatives has money and those "up there big shots" respect money. The
regular people don't get jobs they are qualify for, instead they are placed into low
jobs, which they have to do to survive. Bloomberg needs to reach out to the helpless
himself, rather than giving speaches !!