There are 20,000 kids sleeping in homeless shelters in New York City, according to the city's latest estimate, a number that does not include homeless kids who are not sleeping in shelters because their families have been turned away. Up to 65 percent of families who apply for shelter don't get in , and their options can be grim.
"Some end up sleeping in subway trains," Patrick Markee, senior policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless, tells AlterNet. "Some go to hospital emergency rooms or laundromats. Women are going back to their batterers or staying in unsafe apartments."
Families that make it into shelters are taking longer to leave and move into stable, permanent housing. Asked by reporters why families were staying 30% longer than even last year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "... it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before."
“Is it great?" He elaborated a day later in response to outcry over his comments. "No. It’s not the Plaza Hotel ... but that’s not what shelter is supposed to be and that’s not what the public can afford or the public wants.”
That deep-seated empathy for the poor also runs through the mayor's policies,
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment