The city that never sleeps has become the city with the most people who have no home to sleep in.
As rising rents outpace income growth across the five boroughs, some 62,000 people, nearly 40 percent of them children, live in homeless shelters—rates the city hasn’t seen since the Great Depression.
As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio faces reelection in November, his reputation and electoral prospects depend in part on his ability to reverse this troubling trend.
In the mayor’s estimation, combatting homelessness effectively will require opening 90 new shelters across the city and expanding the number of outreach workers who canvass the streets every day offering aid and housing.
Every day in New York, some 400 outreach workers walk the streets checking in on homeless people and collecting information about their health, income, demographics, and history in the shelter system, among other data points.
What’s more, systems used by city agencies and non-profits seldom overlapped, complicating efforts to keep track of individuals.