Homelessness (or prospective homelessness) is a problem, which I would equate with the national government spending a lot of time just watching from the sidelines, and unable to do anything to improve matters. The irony of that statement is that it looks a lot like they have homeless people’s problems themselves when they do that (which they obviously don’t) but the misery associated with homelessness is not a joke. In New York, homelessness is a major problem – the tabloids might make it look like homelessness happens only to drug addicts or mentally ill people, but the truth is that it affects New Yorkers of all shapes and sizes, from teachers to postal workers.
The previous New York mayoral administration of Michael Bloomberg (CEO and founder of Bloomberg) deliberately moved away from specially allocating homeless families public housing, and also giving it to them at an affordable price. This is in addition to cutting off special privileges to ‘Section 8’ – a voucher program funded by federal cash, which aims to aid with problems associated with looking for a place to rent.
The Bloomberg administration explained this problem by saying that too many people were homeless and new spaces needed to be made for people who were recently homeless, by moving people who have been homeless for longer and from before, out of public housing, rather than doing something about increasing the capacity in shelters. It’s not just that: Bloomberg also took away the 2007-introduced Advantage program in 2011, which was supplying homeless people with monthly vouchers, leaving many people stranded with no help whatsoever.
Homelessness means coming to grips with the horrible reality of now having to sleep on subways or in parks.
Bill de Blasio, who succeeded Bloomberg in 2014, wanted to make everything better for people, who were always left out of New York’s success. And despite doing just that by increasing assistance for people who may get evicted any day now and other such means to help homeless people, the problems with homelessness in New York have only increased.
Other towns, such as Los Angeles and Chicago are far worse off than New York on the homelessness scale but the numbers in New York, like homeless people’s problems, are still mammoth: 60,000 people in shelters alone and the incredibly long waiting lists for public housing – one, in particular, has a 270,000-long waiting list. Another problem happening with Bill de Blasio as the mayor is that he is refusing to shut down a type of shelter program, known as ‘cluster sites’ and for the type of people reliant on soup kitchens, living in shelters is anything but ideal because the spaces are replete with violence and robbery.