The number of people staying at homeless shelters in New York City has, for the first time ever, exceeded 60,000, according to new official data.
Data by the Department of Homeless Services said that the New York City’s shelter population accepted 60,017 people on Tuesday night.
Almost 24,000 homeless children were sleeping in shelters, with the adult population exceeding 36,000.
Press TV reports:
According to a separate report by the New York Daily News on Tuesday, homelessness has reached such levels in the city that nearly one in 10 of New York City’s school children was homeless during the 2015-16 school year that ended in June.
Overall, 105,445 of the city’s roughly 1.1 million students were homeless this year, according to data by the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS).
“There has been a steady increase over the past number of years and a sharp increase in the most recent data,” said NYS-TEACHS analyst Emily Kramer, blaming the issue on low-income families’ “struggle to find permanent housing.”
The surging homeless population in the city has posed a serious challenge for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his team, who have tried to make more room in the shelters by doling out rental assistance to families leaving there.
The shelter population has consistently climbed under de Blasio’s administration. When he was sworn in on January 1, 2014, the number hovered around 51,000.
“While there has been some progress and a willingness to attack the problem by the current administration, the city needs to be bolder, show greater leadership in building the political will to site shelters,” said former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
De Blasio, who has been struggling to find more space for the homeless, drew fiery reactions from Queens elected officials after calling their constituents “heartless” for opposing a homeless shelter in their district.
City officials are also under fire for secretly using hotels to house homeless individuals. According to the Post, the city was using nearly 4,000 hotels for this purpose in July, despite de Blasio’s pledge to reduce and ultimately halt the practice.