New York shelters are seeing more children sleeping in them than ever, a new report says.
“More than 23,000 children sleep in homeless shelters every night, an all-time high, according to the Coalition for the Homeless,” said a new report by Fox News.
The number of adults jamming the shelters has also grown.
This growing number of people needing to use the city’s homeless shelters has caused a massive hike in spending, too. The Big Apple is spending more than a billion dollars a year on the shelter system.
“The $1.04 billion that the Department of Homeless Services is forecast to spend through June 30 is more than each of the city’s budgets for transportation, parks, libraries, cultural affairs and affordable housing,” the Wall Street Journal reported on May 6.
The city reports that more than 54,000 people sleep in the city’s shelters each night, a 2 percent increase since Bill de Blasio became New York’s mayor.
Strangely, as New York’s homelessness has been on the rise, The Atlantic reports that it is falling elsewhere.
The magazine reported that, “in most other cities and states, homelessness has actually decreased over the last year and the last half-decade. Just two cities–New York and Los Angeles–account for a fifth of the country’s entire homeless population.”
New York’s Mayor de Blasio wants to throw more money at the problem. He wants to create a new tax-funded program to pay rent for the homeless. A similar program was cancelled by Mayor Bloomberg when the state money for it dried up.
“The average number of days that a family stays in shelter was 437 in March,” The Wall Street Journal reported, “compared with 346 in March 2008, when the homeless population was beginning its rise. As of March, the number of city homeless shelters was 237, up from 201 in fiscal year 2008, an 18% increase.”
But the hard numbers do not tell the whole human story. For the children it is a sad, stressful, and sometimes even dangerous existence.
“I feel like I’m missing having good times. I can’t have good times here,” 10-year-old Wayne Brown Jr. told Fox.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com