There are currently enough homeless kids in the city to fill Madison Square Garden and still leave a few thousand for the Barclays Center
Shola Olatoye, Enterprise Community Partners, NYDaily News Opinion
That would be 22,000 children, the most ever in the history of New York City, more even than during the Great Depression. Altogether nearly 60,000 people a night scramble to find some kind of shelter, or sleep on the streets of this city. They are hungry, they soon will be cold, and how can their children perform in school?
I learned these figures as I was fuming about certain of our smug and spoiled politicians in Washington, who seemingly for spite shaved off some $24 billion dollars of our economy by shutting down the government.
Our outgoing mayor blames this ballooning population, that has increased by 73% over the last ten years, to the recession. New York taxpayers spend $800 million dollars a year on an intricate shelter system, bursting. Whoever the next mayor is will have to grapple with ever descending dollars to find more than shelter, but homes for people. There was news today that JPMorgan Chase is settling its mismanagement of its mortgage matters for some $13 Billion dollars. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some of those funds went into the crises of homelessness across our country.
In the meantime, a coalition organizations working against homelessness in the city–no fewer than 130 groups (!) has laid out a plan to end homelessness forever. It includes, as one might guess, major prevention plans to keep families in their homes; rehabbing and building affordable housing; and providing extensive training and employment services. You can read about United to End Homelessness in the links below.
As we move forward to resolve our differences over governing, we should keep in mind this young constituency, who at a very young age are learning the meaning of the words “living hell.” If we can’t summon the energy to fight for ourselves, perhaps the thought of these children will give us some inspiration.