Study finds homelessness at record highs in NYC

A new report gives the city and state an "F" grade for handling the homeless crisis in New York City as the numbers of people in the street continues to reach record numbers.

The Coalition for the Homeless issued its State of the Homeless 2019 report on Tuesday.

If found that in February 2019, an average of 63,615 men, women, and children slept in New York City shelters each night, just shy of the all-time record set in January.

While the number of families decreased slightly, the number of homeless single adults continues to increase.

An all-time record 18,212 single adults slept in shelters each night in February 2019, up 150 percent from 2009. Between September 2018 and April 2019, the number of single adults in DHS shelters reached a new nightly record high 32 times, according to the report.

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In fiscal year 2018, an all-time record 133,284 unique individuals spent at least one night in a New York City DHS shelter – an increase of 61 percent since fiscal year 2002 when the figure was 82,808.

The group says that Mayor Bill de Blasio has failed to address the city's most urgent housing needs.  The report finds that policy failures by the city and state have exacerbated the decades-long homelessness crisis stemming from New York’s severe lack of affordable housing. 

The report card gives Mayor de Blasio an "F" grade on his efforts to create sufficient housing for homeless New Yorkers and Governor Cuomo multiple "F" grades on housing vouchers, homelessness prevention, and systematic cost-shifting practices that unduly burden the city.

Giselle Routhier is the policy director for the Coalition for the Homeless.  She says, "For families, single adults who have fallen into homelessness for a variety of reasons, we need to make sure that those resources are there and available to them and we also need to make that the housing is there so that they're not stuck in shelters for years on years."