The number of homeless people in New York breaks records

The number of homeless people in New York breaks records

The number of homeless people, that is, those living on the streets and subways of New York in the United States, has reached a record level during the past twenty years, according to an annual field survey issued last Thursday, the 13th.

The estimate found about 4,140 people were homeless, an increase of 2.4% from the previous year and the highest number since 2005, when New York began the surveys. Information from the newspaper Folha de San Paulo.

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Despite the increase in shelters with fewer rules, the supply of beds is “nowhere near the number needed” in New York, said David Geffen, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless.

“These beds are full every night, and there are still thousands of people sleeping without shelter in the city,” Giffen added.

Since Mayor Eric Adams took office in January 2022, the city has moved 2,000 homeless people into permanent housing, 500 of whom were found in the subway.

Under Adams' administration, bed availability in less restrictive shelters has increased to 4,000, and New York still plans to open 500 more places by the end of the year.

Molly Wasow Park, the city's social programs and services officer, said there was no evidence of a “systematic increase in the number of homeless people seeking asylum.”

The city has stepped up its efforts to move homeless people into subsidized housing, prioritizing places that support social services or private and semi-private rooms in more flexible shelters.

Homeless people in New York neighborhoods

In different neighborhoods, the numbers of homeless people vary greatly. In Queens, the number of homeless people rose 46% compared to 2023. On Staten Island, the number more than doubled, from 40 to about 100 people.

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On the other hand, in Brooklyn, the number of homeless people decreased by 12%. In Manhattan, where the majority are concentrated, there was a 4% increase.

Critics question the reliability of the poll, known as the Hope Estimate, which was conducted across the country. In New York, it is held one night during the coldest period of the year, with volunteers and staff. The temperature on the survey night of 2024 was almost identical to the temperature of 2023.

David Geffen has stated that valuing hope so dramatically underestimates the number of homeless people that its achievement is meaningless.

Another way to measure the number of homeless individuals is through records of support teams working on the streets. These data show a larger increase than the hope estimates. The 2024 number for the quarter ending March 31 was up 15% from 2023 and 85% from 2022, when the current mayor took office.

These numbers may have increased in part due to the increased number of members of these support teams working on the streets.

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