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There’s clearly a need for more shelters in New York City and it’s great the City is addressing that. But homeless shelters are meant to be a temporary solution and just adding more doesn’t address the root of the problem. The City needs a permanent solution, including providing more rent-subsidy programs and other initiatives to get people out of homelessness for good. Your thoughts posted below.
The City plans to open five more homeless shelters by the end of the year in response to a sharp increase in the homeless population. There will be three family shelters with 169 apartment-style units, and two single-adult shelters with 234 beds. Two of the shelters will be in the Bronx, while Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn will get one each. The new shelters will bring the total number to 15; the Bloomberg administration opened ten new shelters between May and August.
The announcement comes as the most recent City data show the homeless shelter population at about 46,000, including more than 19,000 children. This is a 29% increase since spring 2011, when the City ended the rent-subsidy Advantage program after losing state and federal funding. This also comes months after learning the average length of stay for families with children increased more than 30% during the fiscal year that ended in June.
Mayor Bloomberg had responded to that report, saying the reason families are spending more time in homeless shelters is because “it is a much more pleasurable experience” than in the past. He said when he came into office, “the shelter system was an abomination.” At the time, the City said street homelessness decreased 26% since 2005. Advocates for the homeless called the Mayor’s remarks “shocking and offensive,” and they hold the Mayor’s record on homelessness as one of his top failures during his tenure at City Hall. What do you say?
What’s your reaction to the City’s plan to open five more homeless shelters? Why do you think homelessness has increased in New York City? How do you think Mayor Bloomberg has handled the issue? What more can be done to get New Yorkers off the streets, and out of homeless shelters?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
The mayor and his administration need to build more permanent affordable housing, families living in shelters no matter how "pretty" will never replace the comfort of an apartment you can call your home.
It's a blessing, as no one is homeless by choice. I believe homelessness has increased due to the city's loss of middle income jobs allowing for affordable housing. It cost so much more to provide housing for the homeless in hotels than it would cost to provide a jobs program allowing tenants to earn money to pay for rent and other life's necessities.
This mayor is just despicable and we all remember the remarks he made towards the people living there. Does he think we forgot what and how he said the remark. This is just so many children.
AGAIN I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL HE IS DOING THERE=HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF THERE A LONG TIME AGO=WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF HIM AND HIS SARCASTIC REMARKS.
AND TELL ME JUST EXACTLY WHAT IS THE SURPRISE THAT HE IS A COMPLETE FAILURE.
THAT GOES FOR ANYTHING HE HAS PUT HIS PRINTS ON.
Bloomberg has handled homelessness like everything else, by doing nothing for the most part. One thing that might have increased homelessness is the fact that they had allowed so many landlords to eliminate rent stabilization and charge "market rents" for apartments in areas that are pretty below the market. Where I live they are going to charge 1600+ a month for a two bedroom apartment and the neighborhood is marginal at best. Who can afford to pay these rents at same point in time when the Mayor is against businesses paying a living wage because it will hurt all these imaginary small businesses they use as a reason not to raise wages. Does anyone know how many of these homeless families are actually working poor, or will the haves just cast them all as lazy welfare recipients? It's a shame that this city has just become a place where the rich can live comfortably and tourist can come stay at inflated prices like it's a Third World Country. To hell with the rest of the people......
Homelessness has increased because the Mayor and his minions have increased existing taxes and fees and imposed new ones in every area, on every transaction and on every product sold on the market.
The key to reducing homelessness is reducing government, it's cost and the thousand of abusive regulations it imposes.
Greetings; after reading an article in the New York Times regarding D.H.S., being an insider I can confirm that everything is true! The shelter system is not always a clean place for homeless residents and at times isn't safe for homeless residents or staff with all the gang members & drug addicts...
If social services (case managers) are able to "move out" a homeless resident into their own independent living then DHS gives that company a financial credit and it would appear that the Homeless population is decreasing. Sometimes homeless couples leave the shelter system (for whatever reason) and separate. Social services (case managers) will ask either resident for a forwarding address, with that infomation social services will give that address to DHS and use it as a "move-out" to gain a credit. This kind of practice steals money from from the state budget and it makes it seem as though the homeless population is declining; keeping DHS budget from getting cut any further...
A livable wage. Fair rents and controls and the rich paying a fair share of taxes will help most homeless families.
Most of our chronic homeless are really in need of mental health service, but ever since the 60-70's, our country has effectively criminalized this population. They are homeless until they commit a crime, at which point they receive a warm bed, shower, and 3 meals a day- at a cost much higher than homeless shelters. I would start by linking documented mental health cases with permanent shelter and housing.
Our Economy is in shambles, people are losing jobs every day. I am ready to lay off more employees due to the increase in tickets, fees, insurance etc. Mayor Bloomberg could never understand with 24 Billion dollars in the bank. Instead of Being lenient to small businesses he is sucking us dry. That is my opinion on why homelessness is on the rise.
I work in the social services field, specifically with homeless men who have been through trauma. How on earth are they supposed to get jobs while living on the street? Before anyone can stabilize their life, they need a roof over their head. Then you move on to employment and education.
Alot of these people who are currently homeless is because they did not like to pay rent. They were in apartment and the courts ordered them out. A lot of these people can avoid to be homeless. I only feel sorry for the kids who suffers because of their parents.
BLOOMBERG IS SO RIGHT WHY WOULD ANYBODY WANT TO LEAVE THESE RAT, ROACH INFESTED SHELTERS.
I work with many of these homeless families. They cannot afford nyc high rents and there are no rent assistance programs. Many are on fixed incomes or low income. There are many people in shelters that are hard working and need the help. We need long term subsidy programs. Those that get a subsidy should have to work for this help.
Many of these families do not stay in shelters because of the pleasant environment. Many of these families have no other options. Living in these shelters is very stressful and often creates new problems such as mental health and/or medical issues which can further impact on their ability to work and support themselves.
How can a person can have a place to live without a job? I think politicians need to think about creating jobs seriously; not all want to live under welfare.
Jobs, Jobs and Jobs.
The Bloomberg Administration is handling this crisis the way it handles all human needs crises: coldly and indifferently and with cruelty.
The mayors buddies that sit under the mayors sign that reads "Rent Board Panel" and the mayors developer friends that know only 2 words...Luxury Condos, have pretty much forced good hard working New Yorkers out to the streets. Every year, like clockwork, his panel gives the landlords the okay to raise the rents. $5 grand per month for a rat infested hole in the wall apartment. If more New Yorkers used their eyes to see whats going down instead of the words of Bloomberg's friends in the media, he NEVER would have won a 3rd term. Even if he bought it.
Upper East side
Nightmayor bloomberg is supposed to be so tied into wall street and big business. Why hasn't he gone to his CEO buddies and had them create jobs? Instead of worrying about soda size.
Stop blaming the Mayor. Look to your congressman, senator, and our President. The mayor can do only so much in trying to fix this nationwide problem.
I live next to a shelter for adults on 110 st. Some of these people brag about living in the shelter, they are not looking for jobs but hanging out in front all day cursing, smoking and drinking, and harassing people for money. There should be time limits and firm regulations on job searches for them to stay in the shelter. The shelter is very dirty as they are throwing trash and excrement out their windows. It lowers my quality of life, and does not help them become independent as the system currently functions.
Just having a job is not enough. The middle class is struggling and disappearing, so one could only imagine what's happening to the poor.
People need to live in affordable economies; where jobs can pay for food, clothing, a place to live and just the essentials for living.
The ability to just those things are increasingly more difficult esp in NY, and there are no politicians who are taking this seriously!
Homelessness is in epidemic proportions. There is nothing new about it. When the economy is good homelessness is down. It is the survival of the fittest, wittiest and most educated that will keep a roof over your head.
First of all I feel that most of these people have brought this on themselves by having babies they cant afford. The City of New York owes them nothing. The homeless problem is too large and will never be resolved as long as women keep having babies to stay on welfare and section 8. I also dont think everyone should blame the mayor for their problems. Never depend on a voucher or program to pay your rent. Depend on yourself and you will be in a better situation.
The problem is that property is considered more important than human beings - no human should want for shelter. The basic human needs, as we all know, are food, clothing and shelter. Yet as one former candidate advocated the rent is to damn high! We ignored this obvious dilemma and the plight continues. Dr. King Advocated that:
Property is intended to serve life,
and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect,
it has no personal being.
It is part of the earth man walks on.
It is not man.
Unfortunately, this concept remains an illusion. The homeless problem comes and goes, it is an inevitable and horrific reality - until we change American values - human need for shelter will be exploited.
I'm sick of people complaining about the lack of jobs. You got to be industrious and make your own job. start your own business. Get good at something, put up a website... Millions of people do.
This Mayor is outrageous to even suggest and to keep on proclaiming that there are more people in homeless shelters now because it actually could be a pleasurable experience. Please -- who wants to live in a homeless shelter! How degrading. Perhaps what should be looked at are his budget cuts. Any chance he gets he cuts social, educational and governmental programs. It is just nauseating when he stands in front of the "Putting Children First Sign" on TV when in fact there are vast amounts of children in these homeless shelters. They are as overcrowded as New York City public school classrooms. Does he really care about children or are they all just an afterthought.
Since Mayor Bloomberg is giving his millions away so freely in the GOP races -- why doesn't he give a million dollars to The New York City Public Schools. It is his baby and legacy -- is it not???
I am a landlord and rent to section 8 tenants coming from the shelters. The destroy my property. Now I no longer accept them as tenants. Plus the blames me for not repairing timely.
It has everything to do with Bloomberg! During his too-many years on the job the city has become a playground for the wealthy and tourism. If razed apartments were replaced with new affordable housing rather than million-dollar condos there might be less homelessness. NYC has become a disgraceful third world city for all but the wealthy.
Upper East Side
I work for a certain division of the city. And I see it EVERY DAY! People take advantage of the system. Yes, every once in a while you run into someone who is unfortunate. But I know for a fact, that I'm Working 40-something hours a week to pay for these people who need "help". You need help, stop buying alcohol and drugs. And get rid of your Cadillac SUV. How dare these people cry wolf in the projects with their medicaid cards and they're 200 dollar Nikes and brand new Lexus. This city is sick.
The king mb has ruined the housing market in ny. i work, for the city, make good money. We have not had a raise in 3 yrs and the king claims
he won't give us retro money either. everything in this city has gone up except our salaries. people are loosing their apts, working people are loosing their apts because this guy won't even endorse a living wage bill. there is no affordable housing in the city for people making over 30k and under 70k, and if you do find something you have to give up half a months salary just to live there. its utterly ridiculous. he's insane, the city is paying 3400.00 a month for a room in a shelter?
Instead of giving money for building 5 new shelters that have no proven track records for job creation, rehabilitation or giving the homeless some pride they should take the funds and work with proven organizations like Habitat for Humanity, The Doe Fund and any other organizations that are similar.
Otherwise our tax money continues to go to hand outs.
I hope I didn't sell my future soul to the "American dream" when everyone in the world is lost.
I am a social worker in NYC and must say that the answers I am hearing to the problem of the homeless are very simplistic. I work with some homeless clients who WANT to remain that way for various reasons: drugs, abuse, no jobs worth having and just no jobs!!! There are many who want to get out of shelters but can't get work.
I know so many people who want jobs who are educated and cannot get one!! They have taken advantage of all kinds of help in how to get a job and still can't. Social services are as punitive as can be! The wait for low income housing is endless! Programs for homeless and unemployed are a joke!
Instead of going on I would just like to say that the answer is effective education when people are young. Education in our city is so far from equal or equitable!
More organized social services and eliminate nasty workers there. There is so much to do and shrinking funds to do it!
WE NEED TO STOP/RESCUE THIS MAYOR FROM HIMSELF WHILE HAVING SENIOR MOMENTS, AS WELL AS, SHOWING A NEW PROBLEM, LIKE ALZHEIMER'S. FORGET THE HOMELESS PROBLEM. IT IS ONLY IN PREVIEW STAGES NOW, HOWEVER, THAT WILL CHANGE IF THE MEMORY DOES NOT KEEP ASSISTANCE TO A NEW LEVEL. HAS THE MAYOR SPENT A DAY/NIGHT IN THESE SHELTERS? PLEASE DO NOT STOP HIM. WITH THE MAYOR SHARING THE MISERY OF BEING HOMELESS, I WANT TO GIVE HIM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. BUT I DO NOT SEE THIS HAPPENING. BEING HOMELESS IS NOT A CRY FOR HELP, MOREOVER, IT IS THE PROPERTY OWNERS REAPING THE BENEFITS. HERE IS THE SCHEME THAT IS BEING USED TODAY: PROPERTY OWNER GET BENEFITS FOR PROVIDING A HOME FOR THE POOR AND THE NEEDY. THEN, LET'S FORCE THE ISSUE OF BUILDING AND HOUSING THE RESIDENTS, BY MAKING THE PROPERTY UNLIVABLE, AND THE RESIDENTS WILL STAY AT THE NEWLY CREATED HOMELESS SHELTER, THAT YES, THE PROPERTY OWNERS ARMS CAN REACH LENGTHS THAT ARE TANTAMOUNT TO USURY, FRAUD AT AN ACCELERATING RATE. UNFORTUNATELY, WE THE OTHER GROUP HAS TO PAY FOR THIS ADJUSTMENT IN LIFESTYLE. WHY NOT CALL WHAT IS GOING ON BY IT'S OTHER NAME, WHICH IS FRAUD TO THE HILT. THIS USAGE FROM THE MAYOR IS SOMETHING THAT ONLY HE CAN AFFORD. OKAY, SO LET'S TURN THIS SUCKER OVER TO THE RESIDENTS FOR PAY AS YOU GO HAS LEFT THE BUILDING.
I think all this $ his using to open more shelters he could.use for the prevention of homelesness when he cut those programs families that just came out the shelters had to go back.
John from rockaway beach queens.
I just lived in a NYC shelter in the uws. The main problem in NYC shelters is that there's too many people from out of state origin, they come to NYC for benefits. Use it up on the residents .more food pantry and soups kitchens better foods and help the residents !
HRA hasa program used to pay rents for there clients once clients receive their ssd checks the request the clients use 70 % of their checks for rent. Vicky was right we have to pay for food n school lunch for kids and we giving for free to other countries!
my idea would be to take 1 billion dollars and build a complex highrise building with 60 floors ,a park ,their own supermarket etc---a commune to be all together ---a nice place---gated ,a park etc---to change their views and other peoples views about them---i dont think it can be solved by churches etc--it hads to be done on an official level ---hell ,let them be their own police and foirefighters too--etc
i believe homeless people should be given a pat on the back and give them help---by not giving them help you are saying thsat you want to be just like them---live and let live----this world can be crule and any person can fall victim to this at some time in their life.IF THEY WERE GIVEN A NICE PLACE LIKE A F=HIGH RISE APARTMENT SECTIONED OFF AND GIVE THEM A TASTE AND TREAT THEM WITH MORE RESPECT.maybe it would change their mind---incentives ---incentives