The fight against homelessness has been a nationwide movement, especially in highly concentrated areas like New York City.
As the city’s population size continues to grow larger, homelessness grows as well. NYC has reached its highest homelessness levels since the 1930s. As of Q4 of 2015, more than 60,000 people were without a home in the metropolitan city. Families comprise four-fifths of that statistic and more than 7,000 people alone are sleeping solely on the streets.
In the new year, New York City will be adding $17 million to help fight against homelessness and will spend this allowance on job training and other homeless shelter services.
After local criticism over the fast-rising homelessness issue in NYC, Mayor Bill de Blasio has approved a collection of initiatives for 2016 that will potentially help the cause immensely.
De Blasio plans include a big city investment and he approaches city organizations like the Department of Homeless Services to join forces in his structural changes to better this inner city issue. These plans consist of a 15-year blueprint with a $2.6 billion investment for “supportive housing”. Supportive housing involves apartments with social services catering towards the homeless. The project will consume a 8-mile stretch in Manhattan.
The move towards supportive housing seeks to be a permanent solution. Over 2016, 1,000 units are scheduled to be added; 15,000 units overall.
The plan even accounts for habitual users who are unstable, for them an additional 267 unites will be set aside.
Steven Banks, the commissioner of New York City’s Human Resources Administration and Department of Social Services spoke on his vision for supportive housing. Banks stated,
“The combination of stable housing and supportive services are the magic ingredients that make it possible for people who have frequently fallen through the cracks in the social-safety net to regain stability in their lives and move forward.”
Homeless advocates are in agreement that this model is the best option for those in need. The new De Blasio spend vastly increases the homeless shelter capacity while providing a long term solution.
The $17 million spend on supportive housing construction and homeless shelter services could be the permanent solution that New York City has been in search for.