Homelessness is a problem in New York City. For the past decade, non-profits have defined homelessness as chronic homelessness—the state of being unsheltered for more than 9 months and having mental problems, physical or developmental disabilities and/or substance abuse issues. An association of non-profits dedicated to this cause, lead by The Center for Urban Community Services, has entered a $33 million contract with the City of New York to take on this issue. The contract requires these organizations to give a new definition to homelessness. These organizations are now being asked to help short-term homeless people and newly homeless people.
Despite the fact that the economy has risen within recent years, factors such as the high costs of living in New York City, low salaries, job instability, unemployment, underemployment and competition are pushing people into homelessness. There are a lot of people with jobs who are homeless.
There are 6 drop in centers in the City of New York, and two more are planned to open. In these places, people can drop in to take showers and receive meals. The city has a main shelter system, though city shelters have a reputation of being unsafe places. Shelters also have strict restrictions and curfews. As a result, many people choose to live outside, despite the chance of authorities throwing them off the land and destroying their belongings.
Because of the bad reputation of shelters, the city has opened up safe-haven beds in smaller quarters such as churches. These safe haven beds do not have such strict curfews and restrictions as shelters.
To get an idea of how many homeless people there are in New York City, one must look at various figures. According to a survey in February of 2017, it was found that about 3,900 people live outdoors in New York City, which is a 40% increase from the year before. However, these numbers may not be completely accurate, and there may be even more homeless people who are not accounted for in the survey. According to a list of names that the city has, about 2,000 people are homeless. On some of the most not-so-great days, the amount of people in the main shelter system can reach around 60,000.