New York City visitors are well aware of the street people that seem to have no place to go for shelter. Homelessness has always been a political issue in America’s city that doesn’t sleep. Sinatra had a different meaning in mind when he sang the song, but the truth is, thousands of people living in New York City don’t have a place to live or sleep. Mayor Bill De Blasio promised he would fix the homeless issue, and now that he’s up for reelection, he is finally doing something about the problem. De Blasio recently announced he would open 90 more homeless shelters around the city because of the overcrowded conditions in the existing shelters, according to an article published by msn.com.
More than 62,000 people sleep in the “cluster sites” around the city every night. Most of those people are part of a family that stay in these unsafe and expensive sites. The number of people that need shelter in New York has doubled since 2002, and there seems to be no end in sight. The Democratic mayor knows he has to do something, or his days in office are numbered. He claims he will win the long battle against homelessness, but the odds of him succeeding at not great.
De Blasio’s plan is to open 20 new shelters in 2017, and 20 more in 2018. Then the city will open five shelters a year until there are 360 shelters in the city. The mayor also plans to expand thirty of the existing shelters. The current cluster sites will be replaced with decent shelters, according to the mayor. De Blasio’s goal is to reduce the number of people staying in shelters by 2,500 over the next five years.
The city’s Legal Aid Society thinks the mayor has good intentions, but his plan falls short. Homelessness is not just about shelters. Understanding why individuals are homeless and setting up programs that bring them back into the working class in some way is essential to reducing the number of people living on the street.