Homelessness in the city has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression with more than 57,000 homeless people as of October. An all-time record of 20,210 single adults, the highest than at any other time in the history, slept in shelters; with 15,369 single men and a near record of 4,841 single women.
Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing. But the pandemic has seen those numbers rise – despite a moratorium on rental evictions – as tens of thousands lost their jobs amid lockdowns and restrictions on businesses.
Reports of domestic abuse have also soared which may also lead to more people seeking refuge in shelters.
Scroll down for video
A woman is pictured slumped on the staircase at New York’s Penn Station on Friday night. With nowhere else to go, this was her best option
A man can be seen using the tiled floor of the iconic transport hub as his bed for the night, clinging onto his coat for comfort
Although there is still space in city homeless shelters, all too often the warmth of the city’s railway station is more attactive
Shops that closed often make for the perfect, sheltered spot to lie down and to try and get some rest
The New York City Department of Social Services added that many prisoners were released early due to the pandemic, and placed into emergency housing.
And with the eviction moratorium ending in January, and the enhanced unemployment benefits many have relied on since March ending on December 26, it’s likely the numbers of homeless will continue to soar.
They stay wherever they can find space. In the abandoned doorways of shops that have closed down, on subway platforms or even slumped on uncomfortable staircases.
On Friday night, dozens of homeless were spotted in and around the city’s Penn Station. In any normal year, the station would be thronging with commuters going to and from their city jobs or with partygoers coming into the city for a night on the town.
The high numbers do not include those sleeping on the streets or in private shelters.
The coronavirus has affected New York’s homeless population more than other demographics with the Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing estimating the mortality rate to be 78% higher than the citywide average between May and August of this year.
‘If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that housing is health care. Our homeless neighbors need the safety and stability of a home,’ said Giselle Routhier, policy director of Coalition for the Homeless to CBS News.
‘Drivers of homelessness like these are preventable — and we remain committed to doing everything we can to prevent homelessness where possible and to connect the New Yorkers who come to us with the permanent housing that will help them find stability for the long-term,’ a DSS spokesperson said. The department helps to rehouse at-risk families and provides assistance for those facing evictions.
The CDC says the homeless population are ‘particularly vulnerable’ as a group with clear links between the rise of COVID-19 and the increase in the numbers of emergency shelters being used.
NEW YORK CITY HOMELESSNESS: THE FACTS
- In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
- In October 2020, there were 57,341 homeless people, including 18,653 homeless children, sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system. An all-time record 20,210 single adults slept in shelters in October 2020.
- Over the course of City fiscal year 2019, 132,660 different homeless men, women, and children slept in the New York City municipal shelter system. This includes over 44,300 homeless New York City children.
- In 2015, families entering shelters predominantly came from a few clustered zip codes in the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. However, homeless families and single adults come from every zip code in NYC prior to entering shelters.
- The number of homeless New Yorkers sleeping each night in municipal shelters is now 50 percent higher than it was ten years ago. The number of homeless single adults is 115 percent higher than it was ten years ago.
- Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing. Surveys of homeless families have identified the following major immediate, triggering causes of homelessness: eviction; doubled-up or severely overcrowded housing; domestic violence; job loss; and hazardous housing conditions.
- Research shows that, compared to homeless families, homeless single adults have much higher rates of serious mental illness, addiction disorders, and other severe health problems.
- Each night thousands of unsheltered homeless people sleep on New York City streets, in the subway system, and in other public spaces. There is no accurate measurement of New York City’s unsheltered homeless population, and recent City surveys significantly underestimate the number of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers.
- Studies show that the large majority of street homeless New Yorkers are people living with mental illness or other severe health problems.
- Black and Hispanic/Latinx New Yorkers are disproportionately affected by homelessness. Approximately 57 percent of heads of household in shelters are Black, 32 percent are Hispanic/Latinx, 7 percent are White, less than 1 percent are Asian-American or Native American, and 3 percent are of unknown race/ethnicity
Another homeless man can be spotted sitting beneath the departure board. His destination will be Penn Station tonight
Another homeless man beds down for the night in Penn Station using his only bag for a pillow, with his shoes at his side
Outside of the station one man begs for cash or food as masked New Yorkers go about their evening’s business
City officials say that without city programs, numbers of those in shelters might have been as high as 71,000.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said even during the pandemic, a massive outreach has continued to get the homeless off the streets and into shelters and help.
‘They need mental health services. They need substance misuse services. Obviously, everyone ultimately needs affordable housing or supportive housing,’ de Blasio said.
Braving the chilly December temperatures, a man stands outside with two suitcases as he eats a packet of chips
A man is pictured sitting at the top of the stairs to Penn Station possibly wondering if he should spend the night here or head to a city shelter
A homeless man who appears to be in some discomfort is spoken to by officers from the NYPD on Friday evening
There are 20,000 single adults in New York City shelters but sometimes a shop doorway may be more appealing
Another homeless person is seen sitting on the steps to a New York CIty subway station on Friday night
A homeless person can be see in the doorway of a shuttered AMC cinema in Kips Bay on the east side of Manhattan
A woman wearing a mask walks near a homeless veteran sitting in front of the newly unveiled holiday windows at Macy’s
A panhandler sits by the newly unveiled holiday windows outside of Macy’s as two children, blissfully unaware, stand close by
A homeless man is ignored by masked New Yorkers as he holds his cup out for some spare change
A man sits outside of Macy’s holding a cup in the hope that he might be able to receive some change from passing shoppers
Earlier in the pandemic, hundreds of homeless people were put up in luxury hotels on Manhattan’s Upper West Side by the city as part of its efforts to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in shelters.
In July, it emerged that 139 of the city’s iconic hotels – which had been forced closed for months – had agreed to take in homeless people for $175 per person, per night as part of a scheme by the city to try to avoid a breakout of COVID-19 in homeless shelters. The scheme ran until October.
The move sparked complaints from residents of the upscale neighborhood who demanded the homeless shelter be moved elsewhere.
The homeless-in-hotels scheme set up by de Blasio is one of many components to an escalating downward change in the city. Many of New York’s wealthy residents fled months ago – taking their disposable income and their tax dollars with them – and there are fears they may never come back.
The homeless were moved from dorm-style accommodation around the city to the hotels so that they could be housed one or two to a room in order to protect them from Covid-19 more effectively.
Large numbers of homeless men moved into three hotels in New York City’s Upper West Side this summer much to the dismay of local residents, who complained of drug use, public urination and cat calling. Pictured: A group of people who appear to be homeless loiter at Broadway and West 95th in July
Homeless men were moved from dorm-style accommodation to the hotels in July so that they could have one or two people to each room – limiting the spread of Covid-19.Pictured: A group of men loiter at Broadway and 79th Street
Upper West Side residents reported seeing homeless men around the hotels urinating in public, openly using drugs and passed out on the sidewalk
Local Upper West Side residents feared that the homeless situation in the area was a ticking time bomb, with it costing authorities $175 a night to house a single person in the hotels
In the summer local residents reported seeing fights, being verbally abused or harassed. A homeless person is seen sleeping on a couch on the Upper West Side
- Designers want to put New York City’s homeless in ‘honeycomb pods’ that attach to buildings
- The 25 coolest new businesses in New York City
- Inside Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, the New York City boarding school that costs more than Harvard
- Tech IPOs soar in New York; Europe markets rise
- I spent the weekend with a homeless community in New York to see what it’s really like to live on the streets
- The tablets built into New York streets are getting a major software update
- Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor who transformed New York
- The crazy series of events that brought down the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings
- Micro-apartments: a new concept in New York
- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is very annoying, but he’s going to win easily because he’s doing a good job
- Let Filipinos condemn and boycott the New York Times
- This homeless fashion photographer is proof that things are not always as glamorous as they seem
- When night falls, some internet cafes double as shelters for the displaced
- The truth about the ‘dorms for adults’ that $16 billion WeWork is betting its future on
- How do you sleep?: 23 highly specific rock and roll diss tracks
- New Year's in Times Square is endurance contest
- New wave of heroin claims Hoffman and others
- Rudy Giuliani may end up being the US’s top diplomat, but he has a questionable record on foreign affairs
- Below-zero temps push into US Midwest, Northeast
- Aerial photos reveal the shocking damage of California’s deadliest wildfire on record
Pandemic pushes homelessness in New York City to record levels with more than 20,000 single adults in shelters and thousands more sleeping on the streets have 1892 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at December 12, 2020. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.