Advocates Say Homelessness in New York City Has Reached Record Levels

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Coalition for the Homeless says an all-time high number of New Yorkers turned to shelters last year.

The group, which released its annual State of the Homeless report Monday, said a record 113,553 people — including 42,888 children — slept in shelters run by New York City in fiscal year 2010. That’s an 8 percent increase over the previous year.

The group is calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make greater use of federal housing programs like Section 8 vouchers to move families to permanent homes.

Patrick Markee, a Senior Policy Analyst for the coalition, spoke to 1010 WINS on Monday and directed criticism at Bloomberg’s policies.

“More than six years ago, Mayor Bloomberg cut off homeless families in New York City from access to successful federal housing programs, which had been used by every previous mayor from Ed Koch through Rudy Giuliani,” he said.

According to Markee, the city does not have a plan in place to move families from the shelters into long-term housing. He added that he believes the city has been unsuccessful in combating the issue by using initiatives like the Advantage program.

“That’s a program that’s not working and it’s a bad deal for taxpayers and homeless kids and families,” Markee said.

Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond said the coalition is being unrealistic if it expects the city will receive more federal housing subsidies.

He said the city’s priority is helping homeless people find jobs.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • richard Allen

    I’ve dealt with Seth Diamond…and don’t think much of him so I was surprised Bloomy put him in this job instead of firing him for being a failure at HRA.

    No Seth boy finding jobs is not #1…..teaching these people to read write and speak ENGLISH is #1 but you have no guts to admit that!

    He said the city’s priority is helping homeless people find jobs.

  • chuck

    What can you do with the ones who are sleeping under bags of garbage on the subway who smell like they haven’t showered in years? If I gave one of those homeless people money, what would they do with it? If someone gave them an apartment would they live in it? It seems like many of them need to be in an institution where they are at least kept clean and fed and out of danger to the public and themselves.

  • cb

    All these empty apt buildings all over bedstuy and down town bklyn, that no one but the rich can afford. These Jews with all these kids and yes they are on foodstamps, some of most of these empty buildings out here belong to them. a sad situation

  • Case Worker

    I work in the Homeless system. I can tell you out of my women, 7% are looking/found employment. Did you know one REQUIREMENT for entry into the shelter is to RECEIVE FOOD STAMPS? Yes, they must apply or they are sanctioned. Every single person in the shelter system has to do this and it is cause by a system higher up being originally from HRA. In regards to your “its the illegals” comment, only WIC can provide food stamps if they are illegal. Mother to Child. They CANNOT receive benefits after a certain point nor can they apply.

    Also, NY has ridiculous homelessness because of policy. EVERYONE has a right to shelter in NY. With my population, 30% are from out of state. We cannot turn anyone away.

    Since I must help my women find jobs and housing here are my observations:
    1) Most jobs are in the survey/telemarketing/security/Home Health Aide industry. Average Pay is 7.50/hour.
    2) Studio/1 Bedroom Apartment: 750-900/month
    3) Room in a shared apartment: 450-600/month
    4) Advantage Program, while not the best, subsidized WORKING clients for one year in rental assistance.
    5) Single Room Occupancy criteria is often mental health and/or substance abuse. Very few, if any, exist for the general population.

    Please find out the facts on your own. The government and Coalition skew them.

    • Case Worker

      I apologize for typing incorrectly, it is 75% searching/gaining employment, 10% in school, 10% fixed income.

      All of my statements are regarding the general population (no mental health or substance abuse)

    • Product of DHS

      Glad you help your women… U gets no help just ” Get a job, save money & move out” I ask for places to go for job training or job leads, any other places for job search or job search clothing, she doesnt know…So if you could help have any infor please email me.

  • mm

    Oh and you bleeding hearts with your sympathy..obviously you live in the boondocks and don’t see these trash on your streets…be like China, incarcerate and exterminate! good riddance they are useless!

  • mm

    They are mostly LAZY PARASITES offspring of the welfare generations that have no work ethic! 3 million are on FOODSTAMPS in NYC!! google it! they have learned to feed off the working people, many are illegals with their anchor babies!!! END WELFARE! this travesty will stop! I’m sick of supporting parasites and Obuma has expanded welfare to new levels for his “people.” SICKENING! who will work…? I’m looking for my handout too why shouldn’t we??

  • bsb

    If these were normal economic times, things would still be lacking for section 8 housing applications. It’s a long waiting line. In bad times as now, can anyone expect better? If Wall St.fully recovers and the economy is on the mendd,, perhaps those Wall St. execs should pay out for their greed. The poor wouldn’t be any worse off.



  • Trishe

    The rent is too high, the food is too expensive, there are no jobs for the regular person and if you are over 50, fortget-about-it, The basic needs are not affordable in this city.

  • Ockham

    There but for the Grace of God go I. People like you have me praying that there is a Hell.

  • ken

    i know a guy who is about 40 homeless under the George Washington Bridge hes and addict who needs some serious help i offer him a ride to detox when i see him but he always says no….he has a son about 20 who doesn’t know where his dad is……. And this guy was and union electrican and working guy before the crack and dope took him to his new home under the bridge….its a powerful disease of addiction we need to get these people help

    • Trishe

      He stays under the bridge because he knows that if he tries to get help he will be sent to Aticca. Unfortunatly it is the person with the disease that ends up paying the price instead of the “true dealer” that sold him the drugs. It is a powerful disease….

  • John

    Pretty soon we will look like India

  • kendra

    that is why he does not need to be the mayor cause he spends monies on foolisness instead of spending money on really what it needs to be spent on…and he needs to be thrown out of office if you ask me…

  • Auburn Dale

    Of course, “advocacy” groups like the Coalition for the Homeless have a vested interest in maximizing the number of homeless in NYC – more homeless people means more funding for “advocacy.” It’s no wonder Giuliani called them the “poverty industry”!

  • nyc

    Welcome to Bloomberg’s city for the rich ! Of course there is more homeless and higher petty crime !

  • Steve

    The begging situation on the Lexington Avenue line has reached absurd levels, with 4 or 5 hardluck cases per train. And the southbound trains in the morning have these animals sprawled out on the seats, stinking the place up with their urine. It’s unbeleiveable. Where are the Police? In no other city in Americ do hard working people on their way to work have to endure this.

    • Giantnyc

      @Steve-So sorry you have to endure with the indignity of sharing space with such “animals” while they clearly are having the time of their lives.

      • AZ

        Poor you – I feel so sorry for you. You show an incredible amount of compassion for those in need.

    • ockham

      There but for the Grace of God go I. People like you have me praying that there is a Hell. Your’s is a cancer on humanity.

  • Rod

    With the Bloomberg administration pro-landlord policy, what else can be expected? Billionaires live in a separate reality completely remote from real people. Bloomberg’s current ads. an attempt to shore up his lagging support, show him all buddyed up with ordinary folks, but it’s all part of the smoke and mirrors all for the rich and nothing for the poor mayor.

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