The East Coast

In Manhattan, New York, just steps from the bright lights of Broadway and Times Square, I encountered individuals experiencing homelessness in obvious distress with alarming regularity; soliciting for food, money or water - or 'panhandling' - whist riding the subway. For decades, officials have used ‘homeless hotels’ - temporary bed and breakfast type accommodation - to shelter the astonishingly high number of homeless people residing within in New York City.

Whilst this keeps many of the district's inhabitants from sleeping outdoors, the number of citizens accessing temporary options has spiralled out of all control in recent years. On any given night, there are an estimated 62,000 men, women, and children sleeping in temporary shelters in New Yorkxciii. Furthermore, evidence demonstrates that the provision of this type of accommodation is proving to be an increasingly expensive election, with shelter costs rising by 62% over an eight-year period. 2015 official
estimates place annual costs at $976 million, up from $604 million in 2007xciv.

East coast homelessness
Manhattan: The most expensive real estate in the world

In the 2015 Budget, the then President called for nearly $5.5 billion in targeted homelessness assistance. In addition to this, the Budget also included key investments in mainstream programmes needed to end homelessness, such as 67,000 new ‘Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers’ to support low-income households, including homeless families, survivors of domestic violence and Veterans experiencing homelessness, regardless of their discharge statusxcv.

With the launch of ‘Opening Doors’ in 2010 - the nation’s first comprehensive federal strategy to prevent and end homelessness - the President set ambitious goals to end homelessness across the Nation, and since, the White House reports on making significant progress. Overall, they assert that homelessness is down 10 percent since 2010, including a 25 percent reduction in unsheltered or street homelessness. This
progress, they report, is the result of the hard work of community partners, unprecedented collaboration across sectors and at all levels of government, and a commitment by Administration to invest in projects and ideas which will end homelessness: evidence-based solutions like Housing First, permanent supportive housing, more affordable housing and access to rapid re-housingxcvi.

Citations

xciii. https://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/basic-facts-about-homelessness-new-york-city/
xciv. https://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/albany-shifts-the-burden-as-the-cost-for-sheltering-the-homelessrises-federal-city-funds-are-increasingly-tapped-october-2015.pdf (Web version unavailable)
xcv. https://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/2016_Budget_Fact_Sheet_on_Homelessness_Assistance.pdf (Web version unavailable)
xcvi. https://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/2016_Budget_Fact_Sheet_on_Homelessness_Assistance.pdf (Web version unavailable)

Copyright © by Amy.F.Varle, January 2018.
The moral right of the author has been asserted.

The views and opinions expressed in this report and its content are those of the author and not of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, which has no responsibility or liability for any part of the report.

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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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