As housing for the poorest disappears, cost of shelter soars — Brooklynian

As housing for the poorest disappears, cost of shelter soars

edited August 2015 in Brooklyn Politics
NYC residents have a legally established "right to shelter". As housing for the poorest disappears, the costs of shelter soar. NYC is doing what it can to reduce shelter costs by creating rental assistance programs, but the costs continue to grow.

NYC is not making much progress. Does this play out with shelters becoming something like the permanent Almhouses of old?

http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/further-increases-homeless-rental-assistance-additional-funds-for-shelter-still-necessary-may-2015.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almshouse
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Comments

  • There's a bunch of shelters on St. Johns between Ralph and Howard and they look like they're kept in better shape than most housing projects. In addition, they're probably also better than most of the people who live there can get on their own so they may be reluctant to move out very quickly.
  • As a result of having state oversight (and being part of the ongoing political football between DeBlasio and Cuomo), many shelters are in pretty good shape: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cuomo-nyc-week-clean-homeless-shelters-article-1.2202935

    For this and other reasons, some men would rather be in the shelters than 3/4 houses:
    http://johnjayresearch.org/pri/files/2013/10/PRI-TQH-Report.pdf

    The various types of housing for the extreme poor (supportive housing, shelters, 3/4 houses, etc) are not keeping up with the demand for them created by higher housing costs and prison downsizing.
  • If you want to get an idea of what it's like to live in an S.R.O. where 99 percent of the tenants have Section 8 rent subsidies, check out www.kenmorehalltenantsassociation.blogspot.org, The organization that runs the place is totally corrupt. It's really sickening. I've had to explain to tenants over and over again that they actually have rights, and that a lot of what management is trying to do to them is in violation of NYC/NYS real property law.
  • edited May 2015
    Because so few private landlords still accept Section 8, tenants who rely upon Section 8 get the message that they should be thankful no matter how bad the housing conditions.

    As a result, tenants are unlikely to to assert their rights.

    Because the shelter system is so full, the city is unlikely to take action to protect their rights which may cause the SRO to be closed down or converted into "floor through market rate apartments".

    The population we are discussing often has co-occurring substance abuse and psychiatric disorders, is over 50, and is on SSI/SSD.

    Private landlords can often get better tenants who provide a greater ROI, so they do.
  • The funny thing is...I have clients who refuse to take section 8 people because before the city will accept an apartment for the program they come in and inspect every little thing and the owners don't always want to go through the hassle of all the repairs. Landlords used to love section 8 because they were guaranteed at least 80% of the monthly rent but the inspections have gotten tougher especially in older buildings where lead paint might be buried under four coats of latex.
  • edited May 2015
    Yes, HPD and the NYC nonprofits that locally administer Section 8 have come under increasing scrutiny from HUD (aka the feds) for not enforcing the standards.

    https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_9143.pdf

    Given that landlords can earn as much (if not more) than the amount provided by Section 8 without enduring the hassle/compliance of such inspections, they simply opt out of the program.

    It is a classic case of "sorry, I have a better opportunity. This has been fun"

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/44907/781-washington-goes-market-rate#Item_1
  • edited August 2015
    After the recent press, the city is trying to move residents of 3/4 houses into the few affordable hotels in the city: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/03/nyregion/new-york-city-starts-moving-tenants-from-three-quarter-homes-but-others-are-left-behind.html?ref=nyregion&_r=1

    Note, this is a population that the city previously paid $215 a month to house, possible only as a result of illegal supplemental funds from medicaid in the form of kickbacks to the 3/4 homes from alc/drug rehabs.

    Now, the city will have to bear the full cost of the housing indefinitely and it is not clear what will become of the rehabs that no longer have a patient base they had the power to make show up.

    One of the rehabs mentioned is located at 666 Franklin Ave, near St. Marks:
    North Crown Heights Family Outreach Center
  • Well, DiBlasio has a house in Park Slope he's not using for the next year or two. Maybe some folks can live there in the meantime.
  • I think it is more likely that the low to moderate priced hotels throughout the city will become quasi-permanent housing for this population, because the city must pay above market rates.

    Meanwhile, traditional customers of these hotels will look to resources listed on Air BnB.
  • There have been quite a few of these housing type hotels built lately. There's one on Atlantic a few doors down from the men's shelter called the Kings Hotel but it's really a family shelter type place. There's also a few that I've seen on Linden Blvd in East New York that app[ear to be that also.
  • edited August 2015
    In the present market, such hotels seem like REALLY good investments. They are able to operate in commercial areas (such as M-1 zones) that prohibit residential uses, and the population being served does not have the power to be picky re: fumes, noise, etc.

    Let's build some on Atlantic Ave by the elevated LIRR tracks!

    Or by the bus repair shop near Albany Houses.....
  • edited August 2015
    For those not aware, the Department of Homeless Services has also started to contract with individual landlords at rates that make their clients the best payers.

    For example, the residents of a multi unit building on Prospect Place were recently offered buy outs.  Four units took the deal.

    The residents of the other units braced for what they believed would come next:
    1.   Renovations of the adjacent apartments.
    2.   Hipster invasion, complete with empty craft beer bottles and bicycles in the hallway.

    However, what they received was:
    1.   No renovations
    2.  Large, homeless families.   

    The landlord reportedly did the math and figured out that that he could make more money serving the non-rent stabilized homeless tenants than he would from the hipsters.    Plus, they would likely have the effect of causing a few of the long term tenants who didn't accept the buyout to flee sans buyout.  

    If the landlord wants, he can always change his mind later:     He can cancel his contract with DHS and then renovate the building to the degree that it is free from RS rules.

  • 2.   Hipster invasion, complete with empty craft beer bottles and bicycles in the hallway.
    Hey, I only leave my empty craft beer bottles in the hall in case the beer fairy comes in the night..
  • edited August 2015
    Only in NYC does it make sense for a landlord to put in some homeless families to do his dirty work, while he awaits the arrival of the professional class that buys condos.

    Once the professionals arrive, the landlord can sell all the units and retire.

  • edited August 2015
    DeBlasio pledges more money is on the way: http://www.wsj.com/articles/nyc-homeless-problem-vexes-city-hall-spurs-action-1438722501

    I expect this to result in more of the above.

    What was a good time to own rent stabilized units, is becoming a very good time.
  • DHS is not able (or willing) to distribute shelters evenly throughout the city. Here's where they have successully put the bulk of them:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150824/belmont/map-10-community-districts-carry-bulk-of-citys-homeless-shelters
  • Where on prospect place?
  • Not to be a pedantic bore or anything, but I'd like to quickly address some misconceptions about the population that uses shelters, SROs, section 8 housing...

    There's a stereotype out there of what typical homeless people are like for a reason... it' s because many of them ARE that way (alcoholics, drug addicts, mentally ill, Add in formerly incarcerated and/or having a large family for extra misery points, and you've got the profile of folks you don't really want to have to live near (so stick them in a part of town you wouldn't want to live in yourself.) I understand. Really, I do. The stereotype fits many of my neighbors in a building in Gramercy Park (my address is a very nice one - but the building's an SRO, and it SUCKS). Factor in age (over 50) and under-educated/disempowered (unaware of basic civil and housing rights, including the entitlement to a decent warrant of habitability and repairs) and you've got a horrible situation.

    On the other hand, there's a NEW profile for formerly homeless. If you met me on the street, you'd never know I'd been briefly homeless at one point (10 months, 9 years ago). I ended up in a private shelter for about 8 months after a drawn-out divorce that went very badly for me because I couldn't afford a lawyer and got assigned an 18B robot who didn't do squat. They're underpaid and overworked, but that's still no excuse for brain-dead and passive-aggressive. The shelter helped me get the benefits I hadn't been able to get earlier that might have helped me NOT land in the street; I know it's hard to believe that a white woman living in an "affluent" zipcode like 11215 would need help, but I'd been a stay-at-home mom for a number of years, and then developed COPD - when I was first diagnosed with the COPD, I'd been getting sick repeatedly with chest infections, and was sick as a dog, and it was difficult to hold a regular job for a while. Soon-to-be exhusband moved out, stopped paying my rent, and I ended up in Housing Court without a hope or a prayer after 6 months. I had no financial resources of my own at the time, and got totally screwed out of spousal support in Family Court. 

    Meanwhile, I'd grown up middle class, got a BA from a good college, worked for years and supported myself... and had ended up living in Park Slope in the early 90s through mid 2000s, when Park Slope was still relatively affordable and fun. I've never been a drunk or junkie, and I'm completely sane. Nothing in my previous life had prepared me for having to cope with my new, screwed up life - especially the part where people that are in a position to offer (extremely limited) help expect you to be humble and grateful for crumbs. 

    Things are better now, but it takes a long time to bounce back to something resembling what I was accustomed to before. I'm not really complaining... that expensive BA I got 35 years ago was in Anthropology (don't laugh, it helped me get work in several regional historical societies because my senior thesis topic crossed over into local history) and the Brooklyn Museum (because I'd done urban archaeology internships and was a quick study at organizing, classifying and dealing with artifacts, and didn't need as much training to fit into the accessions registrar's office) - living poor has been like field work in an area I'd never ever wanted to touch. 

    So try not to classify or marginalize us po' folks... it can and does happen to all sorts of people. And some of us would be great neighbors... when I lived in the Slope (I was there for 15 years), I was very actively involved in my neighborhood, got grants from the Arts Council and the Civic Council to do arts programming in the area, worked at the Stone House, knew just about everyone on my block, etc. etc. etc.l
  • edited August 2015
    @crownheightster -
    between Franklin and Classon.

    @emilyb -
    Yes, the factors that contributed to you ending up in shelter and your present SRO are compounded by the present macro factors. ...SROs are disappearing.

    Supportive housing would provide some relief, but it takes years to construct. It also must be funded forever, and some politicians seem to believe that the present shelter crisis will go away.

    "With due respect to the governor’s courageous stance on protecting tourists from bare nipples, there is a far more pressing issue to which the state would do well to lend a hand – a supportive housing plan for the tens of thousands of homeless people living in New York City. The number living in city shelters has reached 58,761, according to the most recent census by the Coalition for the Homeless, but it is most certainly higher than that, considering the homeless men, women and children squeezed out of the shelter system and forced to live on the streets."

    http://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/new-york-city/there’s-a-pressing-issue-on-our-citys-streets,-and-it’s-not-topless-women.html#.Vdx2PLxVikq

  • Maybe there's a method to the madness. As Mitt Romney so famously said a few years back, and I paraphrase here...make a place crappy enough and people will self deport, so maybe everyone is hoping these people will move out of state.
  • The NYTimes did not do the family covered in the article any favors with their pictures. The comments on the NYT website are pretty awful. 
  • edited August 2015
    @pragmaticguy -
    People who believe we are pursuing Mitt Romney's strategy implictly believe the government is pursuing a strategy of attrition.

    From my vantage point, NYC gov is trying to adhere to the right to shelter, but is failing to create or maintain enough beds.

    The Coalition for the Homeless is about to kick the city's butt again.

    @crownheightster -
    The article and its pictures accurately demonstrate why no one wants to house this population, and how quickly the residences created for them become in disarray.

    ....when formerly homeless families are successfully housed in non-shelter settings, they are the often first to be dragged to housing court to be evicted.
  • Until then, the city must continually increase funding:

    "Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is expanding a rental assistance program previously available only to homeless families to include homeless single adults and adult families, amid a rise in the number of single homeless adults in city shelters.

    The new emergency measure — which would also allow families temporarily living with a friend or relative to keep getting rental assistance previously available only to those living in the city’s shelter system — is the administration's second major action in as many weeks to address a growing homelessness problem.

    The New York Times reported late last month that the city planned to spend $10 million on new subsidies for tenants who face eviction, domestic violence survivors, recovering substance abusers who are leaving treatment and the residents of three-quarter homes."

    http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/09/8576319/city-expand-homeless-subsidies-single-adults

    ...with no end in sight.
  • edited September 2015
    Seeing that DeBlasio is cornered, the Comptroller begins to throw punches:

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/12/nyregion/new-york-comptroller-clashes-with-mayor-de-blasio-over-shelter-contracts.html?referrer=

    Coalition for the Homeless-
    The ball will soon be in your court. File an injunction re: not meeting Callahan requirements, and force the city to have to create a real plan.
  • The oxymoron here is that these people are not homeless. They have a home albeit it's in a shelter. It's just that the city pays the rent. They are not living on the street or in the Port Authority bus terminal. These people should just be called, "people who can't pay their own rent." And if you think that's heartless remember, you're the ones paying to keep them there.
  • edited September 2015
    Playing devil's advocate here: Wouldn't the city (or state) be paying the rent of the homeless person if they are squatting in a public space (be it PABT or Penn station)? Trust me, I don't see the NYPD, the state police, or Amtrak police kicking them out.

    re:"The oxymoron here is that these people are not homeless. They have a home albeit it's in a shelter. It's just that the city pays the rent. "
    If that's the case, then more should be done for the "homeless" residents of 60 Clarkson, who have been in the news recently. If they're not "homeless", then they're tenants, which means generally you can't throw them out on such short notice. *shrug*
  • The point is....if you can't pay the rent, no matter where you're staying, the city is paying hence the taxpayers are paying. And the people of 60 Clarkson were officially relocated, they weren't put out on the street so even if they're in a crappier place they still have a roof over their heads. Hopefully it's not full of holes.
  • edited September 2015
    The Callahan decision does not stipulate how often a person in shelter can be moved, but does stipulate the condition of the shelter space provided:

    http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/our-programs/advocacy/legal-victories/the-callahan-legacy-callahan-v-carey-and-the-legal-right-to-shelter/
  • The point is....if you can't pay the rent, no matter where you're staying, the city is paying hence the taxpayers are paying
    The city is paying no matter where they are living though, whether it's on the street, in a shelter, or in this other type of shelter like 60 Clarkson. 
  • YOU are the city. New York is just an entity to collect and spend your tax dollars. You're the one paying the rent (along with other taxpayers). The "city" doesn't print its own money, they're just spending yours. Whether it's spent wisely is up to you to decide.
  • edited September 2015
    YOU are the city. New York is just an entity to collect and spend your tax dollars. You're the one paying the rent (along with other taxpayers). The "city" doesn't print its own money, they're just spending yours. Whether it's spent wisely is up to you to decide.
    More accurately, it's up to elected officials to decide...which is what we're getting  hen Scott Stringer is doing his audit. 


  • If you decide the money isn't being spent wisely by elected officials you vote them out. Hopefully the people you replace them with do a better job.

    On another tack, the news reported that in the Cuomo-Deblasio feud 55% of the people favored Cuomo 37% for Deblasio. Looks like he may be a one-termer.


  • While I am not a fan of DeBlasio, I do not know that he could be doing "better" on this issue.

    ...I have friends at DHS who are scrambling to find shelter space in order to remain in compliance with Callahan. Their hands are tied.
  • I don't think the report was just citing this issue. I think they meant overall. Let's face it, DeBlasio is abrasive, doesn't seem to have an open mind about many things (more like it's his way or no way) and just doesn't seem that likable.
  • That's odd... I think you just perfectly described my perception of Cuomo.
  • I am glad that I don't have to choose to like one vs the other.

    I can dislike them both.
  • edited September 2015
    That's odd... I think you just perfectly described my perception of Cuomo.
    Which one is more abrasive - Cuomo or de Blasio? Discuss. :) 

    Even if we were to vote out de Blasio in a couple of years, that won't help the homeless who are in crisis (like the people at 60 Clarkson) now.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • It also won't change the city's legal obligation to somehow create shelter for them all.

    Note, the people on the street don't have to come into the shelters, but the city has to show that they have enough excess capacity to meet the demand.

    If they don't:
    1. Callahan is violated.
    2. Landlords might not be able get evictions of delinquent tenants from their buildings via Housing Court, which will cause all sorts of chaos.
  • @MugofMead...the people at 60 Clarkson aren't homeless. They live there. It's just a crappy place but if they have an apartment they're not homeless.
  • edited September 2015
    @MugofMead...the people at 60 Clarkson aren't homeless. They live there. It's just a crappy place but if they have an apartment they're not homeless.
    The media reports that 60 Clarkson is being used as a "cluster site". 

    "Of the more than 9,000 units of the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) housing homeless families as of December 2011—when this analysis was conducted—roughly 5,000 were in safe, well regulated, service-rich facilities called Tier II shelters. The remainder of those units, about 45%, were in hotels or facilities called cluster-site housing. (source)"

    It sounds like 60 Clarkson is being used as another type of shelter, and it sounds like these families are still classified as "homeless" even though they are being sheltered.
  • edited September 2015
    While we may disagree with it, the city is forced to use the definition of Homeless provided by the Callahan consent decree.

    Here is a slightly larger conversation on the issue: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness
  • As I said in a previous post, these people aren't homeless. It's just that they can't pay rent so NYC (meaning taxpayers) pay the rent for them. Don't you wish someone paid your rent??
  • I long ago concluded that no one but me is going to pay my rent.

    I do not think I should waste my time trying to get a consent decree to try to change that.
  • edited September 2015
    As I said in a previous post, these people aren't homeless. It's just that they can't pay rent so NYC (meaning taxpayers) pay the rent for them. Don't you wish someone paid your rent??
    I'm in a stabilized apartment. Some people in the comments section for the various stories about the fight to renew rent-regulation that Gothamist ran made the argument that those are "subsidized" (off of the backs of those who are paying market-rent). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

    By the way, the funny thing is that 60 Clarkson is a rent-stabilized building. 
  • However, the joke is on them:
    Even though the residents are likely to stay there for more than 30 days, they do not receive tenancy rights.

    And, the landlord is not constrained by the Max Legal Rent.

    The homeless crisis is not bad for such landlords; they can get market rents without having to pay for the improvements that would be demanded by tenants who paid their own way.
  • As this article points out, the city is now constructing its own shelters which it would presumably lease to operators.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-affordable-housing-includes-homeless-shelter-article-1.2370588
  • As this article points out, the city is now constructing its own shelters which it would presumably lease to operators.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-affordable-housing-includes-homeless-shelter-article-1.2370588
    Hopefully they'll have some safeguards in place that will allow them not to do business with operators like Barry Hers.
  • I suspect any "safeguards" won't be effectively enforced until the city is in less of a bind.

    At the moment, shelter providers can break the rules with knowledge that the city is too desperate for their participation to provide any meaningful consequences.
  • edited September 2015

    This article nicely displays how the length of stay for homeless families has doubled: 

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/nyc-to-target-evictions-in-bid-to-curb-homelessness-1443401502

    The city literally has no affordable housing to place them in, and the situation is not changing anytime soon.

    As a result, the city is desperate to to try and keep families from entering the system and is providing rental and legal assistance to families on the brink of losing their housing.

    ....the city is not doing this because it is altruistic.

     

     

     

  • edited October 2015
    The shelter system is so full, that not even our self-professed "mayor of the common man" is willing to stop the NYPD from taking residents out of the system when it meets their needs.

    DHS to NYPD: We are struggling to abide by Callahan, so if you want some of these guys they are all yours.


    http://www.vice.com/read/why-is-the-nypds-warrant-squad-still-raiding-homeless-shelters-1001?utm_source=vicefbus

  • As I said in a previous post, these people aren't homeless. It's just that they can't pay rent so NYC (meaning taxpayers) pay the rent for them. Don't you wish someone paid your rent??
    I'm in a stabilized apartment. Some people in the comments section for the various stories about the fight to renew rent-regulation that Gothamist ran made the argument that those are "subsidized" (off of the backs of those who are paying market-rent). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

    By the way, the funny thing is that 60 Clarkson is a rent-stabilized building. 
    Just like your landlord is subsidized, inasmuch as if you don't pay rent, he can go to a building run by the city and get a man in a robe to tell men with guns to break down your door and put you and everything you own on the street.

    It's funny how we decide what's a subsidy and what isn't.
  • edited October 2015
    The question seems to be: Will Stringer's stunt be enough to cause the city to create and pursue a long term plan?

    http://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/new-york-city/experts-say-stringer’s-rejection-of-homeless-shelter-contracts-is-‘illegal’.html#.VhNilHjOD8E
  • Landlords are not accepting the LinC vouchers as a result of being burned by the prior Advantage program.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/10/07/homeless-landlord-refusal/

    ...seems like Stringer will be able to kick DeBlasio around as long as the public remains ignorant of such intracies.
  • As predicted above, the advocates for the homeless are now assembling.

    This article should be perceived as a warning shot to DeBlasio.   Will he be able to take any actions that are effective in avoiding a legal and political escalation?

     http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/nyregion/he-fought-city-hall-over-shelters-now-he-runs-homeless-policy.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0
  • de Blasio better hope Andrew Cuomo doesn't decide to pile on...
  • @mugofmead111 -
    The operator of 60 Clarkson is now being sued by the tenants (ie advocacy organizations)

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-landlord-sued-repair-apartments-article-1.2396442

    We should note that DHS did not file the lawsuit. ...DHS knows t is desperate for such landlords, and that many of its facilities are in similar shape.

  • edited October 2015
    de Blasio better hope Andrew Cuomo doesn't decide to pile on...
    @mugofmead111 -
    Too late.

    quote:
    "As the number of families and single adults in the city’s homeless shelters has soared, costs for running the shelters have climbed steeply as well. As this expense has grown, Albany has shifted an increasing share of the cost for sheltering homeless families onto federal funding streams, and a larger share of the cost for sheltering single adults onto the city’s own funds. If the de Blasio Administration succeeds in reducing the shelter population, the extent of city savings will depend in part upon how much of the decline is among families or single adults."

    Doug Turetsky
    Chief of Staff/Communications Director
    NYC Independent Budget Office

    full article:
    http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/albany-shifts-the-burden-as-the-cost-for-sheltering-the-homeless-rises-federal-city-funds-are-increasingly-tapped-october-2015.html

    pdf version: http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/albany-shifts-the-burden-as-the-cost-for-sheltering-the-homeless-rises-federal-city-funds-are-increasingly-tapped-october-2015.pdf

    paraphrase of Cuomo by whynot_31:
    "NYC, this homeless problem stems from your success at making your city attractive. Do not expect NYS to pay to address a problem that it did not create and is not an externality of its success"



  • DHS desperately tries to stem the demand for shelter, because it knows that it can not create enough supply.

    12106850_10153306696609492_2861287325104044902_n
  • The Post runs a sloppy article that does not name its sources:

    http://nypost.com/2015/11/01/fed-up-deputy-mayor-quits-after-being-ignored-by-de-blasio/

    That's too bad.
  • Sunset Park resident is upset a local hotel and perceives it as being the only neighborhood having hotels converted.

    http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2015/11/homeless-shelter-operating-out-of-hotel-in-sunset-park/

    Sorry, many mid range hotels have been converted to shelters.    Many more will be converted by Jan 1.

    DHS has been told it contract with hotels for singles.    The maid service has been cancelled, and the maids laid off.   However, the take home to the hotel operators is more than when the maids were employed.

    ....poverty pays.

     



  • Landlords to DHS:   "You can keep your vouchers"

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151109/fort-greene/80-percent-of-homeless-rent-vouchers-arent-being-used-city-says

    After Bloomberg cancelled similar vouchers (named "Advantage"), landlords were stuck with tenants who had no way to pay their rent.     The landlords then had to go through the time consuming and expensive process of getting them evicted.

    The landlords are not doing that again.



  • DeBlasio decides waiting for NYS to come through with significant $ for supportive housing is foolish.

    He allocates billions for 15,000 additional units.


  • edited November 2015

    An article that accurately depicts the struggles of typical supportive housing provider in NYC.

    ...the kind that are not large, and are unable to hold big annual galas with famous wealthy people to subsidize their programs.  


  • Unlike most in the media, she understands the complexity of the issues involved, and that this problem has been brewing for quite sometime.

    http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/reality-check-current-state-of-homelessness/

  • You know....while 53,000 people cited as being homeless is certainly a large number, in a city of 7,000,000 it comes out to seven-tenths of one percent (.007). In any other circumstance this would be a statistical non-event. I don't know, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find better numbers in any major city or even some rural areas.
  • edited December 2015

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City

    NYC's population is about 8.5M, so the % is even lower.

    What I have been amazed at is the seeming reluctance to tie the increase in street homelessness (often single men) to the downsizing of Rikers Island.

    The police have been told to reduce their enforcement of quality of life offenses (loitering, littering, open alcohol, etc), to reduce the load on the court and penal system.   


    As a result, men who would usually be spending part of their lives in this part of the revolving door, are not.

    ...while I believe this was a poor use of criminal justice resources, it fascinates me that the advocates for the homeless don't discuss this phenomena more.

    In some ways, we are actually seeing progress.     Being on the street may be more humane than incarcerated for a petty offense.



  • I'm still waiting for the day these advocates take a few of these folks home with them, just for a few days until they can get into a shelter or some sort of temporary housing but none of them ever will. And I can't believe that 53,000 people have no relatives they can stay with even temporarily just to get off the streets in the winter.

    But I do agree that outside of trash and stuff that the homeless pick up to try and sell, the city should not have discarded personal items.
  • edited December 2015

    Many of the 50,00 have been in and out of shelters (and jail) for years, grew up in the foster care system and have few ties to the outside world.

    The advocates have the law on their side, they can force the city to do what no one else is willing to do.

  • Years ago there used to be a tent city at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge on Canal St. Must have been at least 25 families there. One guy had a tepee that was about 15 feet high. Was there for at least 4 or 5 years. Giuliani got rid of it. It was like a "Hooverville".
  • The percentages may be extremely low, but the misery of homelessness, especially for families, and especially in winter (if winter ever comes!) is extremely high. 50,000 people should not have to endure such misery.
  • edited December 2015
    Unlike single adults, the city has the ability to effectively compel homeless families into shelters: The consequence is foster care for the children.

    Meanwhile, single adults are allowed to make decisions that hurt (largely) only themselves.
  • Years ago there used to be a tent city at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge on Canal St. Must have been at least 25 families there. One guy had a tepee that was about 15 feet high. Was there for at least 4 or 5 years. Giuliani got rid of it. It was like a "Hooverville".
    Until the construction for the mini-park started earlier this year, there were often homeless men there off-and-on. And I was stopped on my bike commute once while a huge herd of cops blocked off the bike lane to flush out the guy living in the bridge girders.
  • Brownstoner recently complied a list of local shelters:

    Brooklyn Community District 8: Crown Heights, Prospect Heights

    1. Bedford-Atlantic Armory Men’s Shelter (1322 Bedford Avenue) — Shelter for singles, 350 beds.
    2. Kianga House (1504 Bedford Avenue) — Family homeless facility, 17 family units.
    3. St. Johns Fam Residence (1630 St. Johns Place) — Family homeless facility, 97 family units.
    4. Clermont Family Residence (1270 Pacific Street) — Family homeless facility, 40 family units.
    5. Eldert Family Residence (1270 Pacific Street) — Family homeless facility, 8 family units.
    6. Kingston Family Residence (64 Kingston Avenue) — Family homeless facility, 46 family units.

    Brooklyn Community District 9: Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens

    1. Kingsboro MICA Program (681 Clarkson Avenue) — Shelter for singles, 143 beds.
    2. Kingsboro Star Program (681 Clarkson Avenue) — Shelter for singles, 221 beds.
    3. Monica House II (534 Eastern Parkway) — Family homeless facility, 45 family units

    http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2016/01/shelter-brooklyn-homeless-facilities-map

  • I wonder if they would ever do a listing of halway houses and 3/4 houses.
  • Such facilities are not closely monitored, and often move.   Hence, it would be very hard to create such a list.

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/38240/here-are-some-of-the-worst-rooms-for-rent-in-nyc

  • One of the largest shelter providers in the city, the DOE Fund, states we are not making progress, and shelter -alone- is not a solution.   http://nypost.com/2016/01/25/citys-homeless-crisis-plan-isnt-sustainable-report/


  • Key quote in that article, "if you're able to work you should work...". Problem is, many of these people no longer want to. They just take "early retirement" and let the rest of the taxpayers take care of them.
  • The DOE Fund is of the perspective that the vast majority of people in its shelters can and should work.

    ...they are the people who wear the bright blue jump suits and clean the streets in midtown.

    Such employment programs help the DOE fund to:

    1.  Keep its shelters empty during the day.

    2.  Teach residents basic employment skills.

    3.  Ensure that everyone that has a better alternative to said working and living arrangements, avails themselves of it.


  • Cleaning the streets is not the kind of gainful employment that is going to get these people out of shelters. It's a good make-work project but really it seems to be benefiting the city more than those it's supposed to be helping.
  • The parks department regularly hires graduates from the DOE fund, and pays them enough to move out of the shelter system.
  • I stand corrected but I wonder how come none of those graduates are ever cited in the stories about how there's not enough being done to help these people. I would love to read a few quotes from the graduates not only because there would seem to prove there's light at the end of the tunnel but also as encouragement to those that donate and those that are in the program now.
  • I watched the video. The five guys were not only intelligent but eloquent. It's a pity that they needed those services to begin with because they certainly are able to succeed. Hopefully the fund will be able to help those that aren't quite as smart because that's where the real challenge is.
  • They likely picked clients who were doing the best for publicity purposes.
  • The cost of existing NYC shelters will increase as NYS increases its security and oversight.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cuomo-admits-state-poor-oversight-homeless-shelters-article-1.2533881?cid=bitly

  • edited March 2016
    "The total adult shelter budget is now $445 million for 2016, $70 million more than the city spent last year."

    "In total, DHS has budgeted a record $1.1 billion to cover adult and family shelter in 2016 "
    http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/homeless-shelter-spending-increased-to-record-hight-this-year-yet-next-year-reamins-underfunded-march-2016.pdf 

     
  • Perhaps to headoff potential action by Cuomo and/or the Coalition for the Homeless, DeBlasio is now replacing the DHS police found in shelters with NYPD.

    http://m.nydailynews.com/new-york/de-blasio-orders-nypd-control-homeless-shelters-article-1.2564388
  • While the name DHS will stick around for a while, the agency will soon be absorbed by HRA.

    http://www.wnyc.org/story/new-york-city-merge-social-service-agencies/

This discussion has been closed.