Four years into Mayor Bloomberg's five year plan to end homelessness in New York City, more people than ever spent time in a shelter last year, according to the ninth annual "State of the Homeless" report issued by the Coalition for the Homeless last month..
102,187 people spent time in a New York City shelter last year, a 5.8% increase over 2006.
"For the second year in a row, more families sought shelter (up by 10.7%) while fewer families were moved into permanent housing (down 6.9%), " the report said. The Bloomberg administration's refusal to issue Section 8 vouchers and access to public housing for homeless families is contributing to the increase in homelessness.
In addition, stringent standards for shelter eligibility implemented last year denied shelter to dozens of families, two-thirds of whom were actually eligible for shelter even under those standards.
Single homelessness has seen a decline for the second year in a row, but the Coalition marks the decrease as a result of single people being placed in illegal boarding house, some of which are later shut down by the city, putting people back in the shelter again.
Picture the Homeless, a NYC organization founded by and run by for homeless people, is asking its allies to hold open the date June 24, 2008, the official fourth anniversary of the five year plan.
"Picture the Homeless is not going to sit back as the anniversary approaches and do nothing to commemorate its failure," according to the Rental Subsidies Committee. Stay tuned.