The Story

New York City’s homeless problem continues to worsen, with the number of single adults in the shelter system now exceeding 15,000. The de Blasio administration says that the problem is a lack of affordable housing, which is likely a contributing factor. But the city’s focus on reducing the jail population is not helping matters, either.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Stay: The average length of time that single adults spend in shelters increased from 305 days in 2014 to 401 days in 2018. Read more.

  2. In and Out: The decline in the jail population matches the increase in the sheltered homeless population. Read more.

  3. Spending: City spending on homeless services has increased from $1.3 billion to $3 billion under Mayor de Blasio, with no evidence that the extra money is helping to stem the tide. Read more.

“Consisting of hundreds of facilities operated mainly by nonprofit organizations, the shelter system is city government’s frontline response to the escalating homelessness crisis.”

Stephen Eide and Max Eden, Manhattan Institute senior fellows

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Homeless Follies (Continued) By David Schoenbrod Ross Sandler (Winter 1995)

“Litigation over New York City’s homeless policy took another bizarre twist recently when Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Helen Freedman ordered the city to pay fines of $50 or $100 per night (for a total of up to $5 million) to homeless families whom it failed to place in emergency shelters.”

And in other news...

“The city’s latest effort to diversify public schools is the most dramatic yet.”