NYC homelessness hits record number

New York City’s homeless problem does not appear to be getting any better.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, the numbers have actually hit an all-time high. They claim the average number of people sleeping in a shelter every night climbed to nearly 66,000 in October. 

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The coalition says the main reason is the city has failed to provide adequate affordable housing.

Back in February, Mayor Eric Adams launched his subway safety plan and has repeatedly touted its success. 

But data obtained by the New York Daily News through a Freedom of Information Law request shows that around 70% of homeless individuals who have been moved into shelters have left within a week of being admitted.

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The data covers two separate homeless outreach efforts, which City Hall calls the Subway Safety Plan and the End of the Line initiative. It shows that from February to August, nearly 2,300 homeless individuals were moved off the subways and into shelters. But out of those people, only 30% actually stayed longer than a week.

Many homeless individuals have said they do not feel safe in shelters, and many facilities also have strict rules, like curfews.

The news also comes amid the mayor's controversial new policy to start forcing homeless people who are determined to be suffering a "mental health crisis" off the streets and out of the subway system. They will be taken to a hospital for evaluation even if they refuse to go on their own.

The policy faced tough criticism. It directs police officers and street outreach workers to transport someone to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation if they appear to be unable to meet their own basic needs. 

But mental health professionals are condemning the plan, arguing it takes away a person's basic human rights. Advocates say "housing" is the best solution for homelessness.

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Mayor Adams says officers will get additional training and real-time support from mental health professionals. He framed the policy as a way to help people who need it.