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Adi Talwar/City Limits
Bloomberg's Homelessness Saga: Success. Failure. Now What?
A Brief History of Homelessness in New York
Bloomberg's Homeless Plan Was Incredibly Ambitious
As Homeless Numbers Rose, Clashes Over Policies
Debate Over Root of Shelter Surge, Mayor's Legacy
In 2004, Mayor Bloomberg pledged a comprehensive effort to dramatically reduce homelessness in New York. Today, more people live in shelters than ever before. Figuring out the ways in which the plan succeeded and how it failed might be crucial to giving the next mayor a chance to move beyond the crisis.
(At left, the PATH center in the Bronx, intake point for homeless family's seeking shelter.)
Homeless policy has dogged the last four mayors of New York City. A recent panel looked at how the next mayor might turn the page.
The Department of Homeless Services announced a "decline of 28 percent across the five boroughs since 2005." That was the good news.
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The next mayor will inherit a substantial homelessness problem. He should prevent evictions by giving tenants representation in housing court.
At the request of the federal government, the city's street homeless survey targeted young people this year. But advocates feel the results suggest a stronger tallying effort is needed next time.
Yes, solving the homelessness crisis will take more affordable housing and living-wage jobs. But it will also require a better shelter system.
The city's shelter system can't create the housing and jobs that would prevent homelessness. The next mayor must rally the agencies who can.
Medical facilities in Manhattan and their number of beds. Source: New York State Department of Health