A New York City advocacy group says the number of people staying in homeless shelters is rising.
The Coalition for the Homeless released a report Tuesday that shows over 50,000 people stayed in city shelters on average in January, up almost 20% from last year. The group finds more than 21,000 thousand of those were children. Patrick Markee, Senior Policy Analyst for the Coalition for the Homeless, said Mayor Bloomberg needs to do more for struggling New York City families.
"The numbers of homeless families has increased under Mayor Bloomberg by 73%," Markee said. "Homeless families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population as well as the largest part of our homeless population."
The Mayor's office has not returned our request for comment.
The report from the Coalition for the Homeless says more people are without housing since the Great Depression. Markee said the number of families in shelters has become a concern since Mayor Bloomberg's tenure began.
"The reasons behind the all-time record homelessness in New York City have to do not only with the economic downturn, but also the drastic failures of Mayor Bloomberg's homeless policies and his approach to this problem," he said. "Most particularly the fact that Mayor Bloomberg is the first mayor since modern homelessness began three decades ago to have no housing program in place to help homeless children and families relocate from the shelter system to permanent housing."
The Coalition for the Homeless said there are a few ways the next New York City mayor can combat homelessness, including better access to affordable housing.
The full report from the advocacy group can be found here: http://coalhome.3cdn.net/5029926c66cd17b044_0sm6btn4k.pdf.