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Homeless encampment in doorway of closed business, post pandemic city life, Queens, New York

Source: UCG / Getty

Things are getting bad in New York City. Whether it’s the crime rate, rising cost of living or number of rats running around the street, things are a struggle out here.

Now Gothamist is reporting that the number of homeless adults in the Big Apple is steadily rising as homeless shelters are reporting numbers that no one really expected. According to statistics, the number of adults living in homeless shelters is the highest it’s been since 2013 with that figure expected to break the record in the coming months.

The figures, dating back to 2013 and posted on the city’s Open Data website, show that on Sept. 23 there were 39,136 adults in shelters overseen by the Department of Homeless Services. That was the first day that eclipsed the previous record, set on Jan. 30, 2019, of 38,838 adults. The number of adults in city shelters has steadily increased since late last month.

As of Tuesday, there were 41,107 adults in the shelters, according to a daily tally by Homeless Services.

Meanwhile, the overall homeless population in the shelters stood at 61,005 on Tuesday, just shy of 61,415, a high set on Jan. 12, 2019.

Now with nine buses filled with asylum seekers from Latin American countries ready to descend upon New York City, Director of policy at the Coalition for the Homeless, Jacquelyn Simone, says that will just be another factor in straining the already struggling shelter system.

“The increase in the shelter census is being driven by both an influx of new entrants to the shelter system — both by people who have been priced out of their housing and have become homeless as well as people who are more recent arrivals to the city,” said Simone. “But it’s also being fueled by the delays in connecting people to permanent housing. So, more people are coming into the system and fewer people are exiting it, and as a result, the shelter census is increasing dramatically.”

You can blame Republican governors using human beings as props to make political statements for that.

How this will be properly fixed is anyone’s guess at this point, but at the current time city officials don’t seem to have a concrete plan to really address the problem or how to go about helping everyone in need. For now, the city has opened 40 hotels and Mayor Eric Adams recently announced a plan to move a planned 500-bed tent city for asylum seekers from Orchard Beach in the Bronx to Randall’s Island for temporary housing.

The city is also considering temporarily housing migrants on a docked cruise ship. On Monday, Adams said he would announce the deal once it’s final.

Simone said moving more people into permanent housing would lessen the strain on shelters.

“They wouldn’t have to rely on tents and cruise ships and, and all of these other summer camps or whatever other ideas they’ve thrown around if they were actually getting a handle on housing placements and freeing up the beds for people who have been languishing in shelters,” said Simone.

Looks like things in New York will only get worse before they get better.

What are your thoughts on the situation? Let us know in the comments section below.

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