Brosnahan adds that at the start of his first term Bloomberg promised to reduce homelessness by two-thirds. Yet, over the course of his ten-year reign, the number of residents residing in shelters has risen by more than 50 percent. Perhaps even more heartbreakingly, families now comprise nearly three-quarters of the total population of such victims and over the last three years alone more than 110,000 different men, women and children have become some level of dependents upon the shelter system.
Further U.S. Bureau of Census data identifies the primary cause of NYC homelessness, particularly among families, as lack of affordable housing. At the same time wages for low-income residents have stagnated or even fallen, rental prices throughout the city have drastically risen.
Survey after survey from among homeless family members has pinpointed the major immediate causes behind such instances as eviction; doubled-up or severe overcrowding, domestic violence and hazardous housing conditions.
“Unless we quickly change course, the lasting legacy of the Bloomberg administration will be a broken homeless system overflowing with children,” added Brosnahan.
To further illuminate the crisis, Homeless Coalition officials have launched a campaign to crystallize the issue. Based on a 2011 public education movement, campaign ads now call attention to the fact there are now more than 4,000 more children living in shelters compared to last year. Under stand-alone photos of children reads the tagline: “Last year, a record 16,000 kids were homeless each night. Tonight, it’s 20,000. Some records should be fixed, not broken.”
Glenn Minnis is a NYC-based sports and culture writer. Follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.