Spike in Homeless Incites Rapid Response from NYC, Angering Many

By opening nine new homeless shelters in just the last two months, the Bloomberg administration has responded quickly to an 18% increase in the number of people entering NYC's shelter system in the past year, much to the dismay of local officials.
August 13, 2012, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The Bloomberg administration's "hallmark ability to pounce" on a problem is again ruffling feathers in New York City. With the homeless population in New York City having jumped sharply over the last year, the city has moved quickly to try to accommodate the increase in demand for shelter. However, many are criticizing the city for moving too quickly, reports Aaron Edwards.

"The administration said the increase stemmed in part from the end of the city's main rent-subsidy program for homeless families," notes Edwards. "But the new shelters - five in the Bronx, two in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn - have provoked criticism from local officials who say they were blindsided by the decisions to open them."

"Mr. Diamond [the city's commissioner of homeless services] said he did not believe that his department had deceived neighborhoods by opening shelters with little notice, saying the process for picking the sites had been done 'always with community communication.'"

Manhattan's borough president, Scott M. Stringer, said, "This is no way to meet the needs of vulnerable citizens in this city by simply packing in hundreds and hundreds of people in the dead of night without a long-range plan."  

 

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Published on Friday, August 10, 2012 in The New York Times
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