Times Square's Last Homeless Man

While this article focuses on 'Heavy', the homeless hold-out, it really is a success story of how a popular, urban destination can tackle what many considerable an insurmountable urban problem - homelessness.
March 31, 2010, 12pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Rather than strong-arm tactics, the Times Square Alliance works through social outreach organizations, such as Common Ground Community, to deal with the homeless on an individual basis.

"These days, workers for nonprofit groups help people move into apartments, keeping track as the number of the chronically homeless in Times Square goes down

According to their records, by 2005, there were only 55. Last summer, it was down to 7.

Now there is one." He goes by the name of Heavy but "declined to be interviewed" for the article.

However, success in Times Square must be tempered with escalating homelessness city-wide, as the city's annual January count showed an increase of "783 homeless people on the streets and in the subway system, for a total of 3,111, up from 2,328 last year. That is in addition to almost 38,000 people living in shelters, which is near the city's high."

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Published on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 in The New York Times - N.Y. / Region
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