Huffington Post: Comprehensive Vision On Homelessness Is Already Here
By Dr. Ralph da Costa Nunez
This week, we heard news of another rise in the homeless population in NYC’s shelters. Mayor de Blasio said he is formulating a “comprehensive vision” on homelessness.
A comprehensive vision is precisely what is needed — comprehensive enough to include educational supports, mental health services, job training and other on-site shelter services to put, and keep, families in their own homes. Homelessness is not a lack of housing; it is a lack of housing stability.
Recent weeks have brought devastating news for many of the shelters coping with a surge of homelessness in cities across the country: The federal funding they have relied on to house, feed, and care for some of the very neediest Americans is going away.
Tents cities are proliferating in Seattle and Los Angeles. Shelters are overflowing in Madison, Wisconsin, and Asheville, North Carolina. The mayor of Portland, Oregon, has declared a housing “state of emergency.” A coalition of 10 west coast mayors is pleading for money from Washington to address what they call a “housing and homelessness crisis.” Nowhere is the situation worse than in New York City, where the shelter population this winter has surged above 60,000.
Your eyes do not deceive you, the headlines do not exaggerate: homelessness is worse than ever in New York City.