We walk pass homeless people everyday. Yesterday I sat with homeless New Yorkers. Meet Tiffany. She chose to give up everything including her abusive husband of 18 years six months ago. Her three children live with her sister in New Jersey while she sleeps on 32nd Street until she gets back on her feet. Tiffany does not ask others for money even though it’s hard for women and men walk pass her and her sign compelled and are to help her out. “A woman passed by me the other day who was in an abusive relationship before and told me that it will get better.” -Tiffany.
On our walk downtown in the city we also met Stephanie, 30 and her husband who are originally from Texas who moved to New York two months ago. Stephanie and her husband find shelter under stairwells and her husband is actively looking for work. Last month her had an offer but missed the opportunity because the employer found out that he does not have stable housing.
According to the Coalition for the Homeless there are 59,568 people living in shelters in New York city.
Here are facts on homelessness from the Coalition for the Homeless:
•In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
• In October 2015, there were 59,568 homeless people, including 14,361 homeless families with 23,858 homeless children, sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system. Families comprise nearly four-fifths of the homeless shelter population.
• Over the course of the last City fiscal year (FY 2015), more than 109,000 different homeless men, women, and children slept in the New York City municipal shelter system. This includes over 42,000 different homeless New York City children.
• The number of homeless New Yorkers sleeping each night in municipal shelters is now 86 percent higher than it was ten years ago.
• Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing. Surveys of homeless families have identified the following major immediate, triggering causes of homelessness: eviction; doubled-up or severely overcrowded housing; domestic violence; job loss; and hazardous housing conditions.
• Research shows that, compared to homeless families, homeless single adults have
The next time you walk pass someone without shelter remember that everyone has a story.