The Story

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For years, New York City has estimated its street homeless population on a best-guess basis. Mayor de Blasio has announced a new measurement approach, modeled on the rigorously data-driven policing that has helped the NYPD target and reduce crime throughout the city. If implemented as promised, HOME-STAT will finally provide the city with an accurate count of the homeless—the first step toward understanding the scope of the problem and developing solutions.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Amateur Hour: The city has traditionally counted homeless people on one January night each year with a cadre of amateur volunteers who return dubious data, such as a one-year, 95 percent decline in the homeless population of Queens. Read more

  2. Street or Shelter: Though the city spends upward of $1 billion annually on the homeless, the focus has always been on the “shelter population,” and only a small fraction has been spent on moving people off the street. Read more

  3. Easy Goal: The city confusingly set a target of bringing the number of street homeless “down” to 3,350–more than the current total of homeless in the city, according to official estimates. Read more.

“There has been an undeniable rise in the level of homelessness throughout New York City, and it is the government's responsibility to counter this through innovative policy that cuts at the root of the problem.”

State Senator Jose Peralta

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

The Professional Panhandling Plague By Steven Malanga (Summer 2008)

“Barbara Bradley, an editor with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, moved into the River City’s reviving downtown about a year and a half ago, loving its ‘energy and enthusiasm.’ But a horde of invading panhandlers has cooled her enjoyment of city life.”

And in other news...

“Opponents of Common Core standards are urging parents to boycott next year’s state math and English exams, despite the state imposing a four-year freeze on using the results to grade students or teachers.”