No one wants to talk about homelessness in New York City. That’s for a mix of reasons. First, the homeless are such a marginalized group and they don’t have political clout. I point to political clout because none of the city politician’s seem to give a damn. Mayor Bloomberg’s main interest as mayor has been turning the city into the playground for the rich. Those running to replace him haven’t said anything of substance. They care more about bike lanes than people. Two, the average New Yorker equates homelessness to a mentally ill drunkard on the corner panhandling and they think “if I give this guy a buck he’s going to buy a fifth.”
Homelessness is a multifaceted issue. It’s overly complex. I will say that this is a group that has been “fucked” by society and the government over and over again.
The Coalition of the Homeless released their report the State of the Homeless a few weeks ago. I still have to read it, but the main takeaway is that homelessness is growing in the city, especially among families with children. The Atlantic Cities sums up the report with this article.
There is no single solution. This is not a one-size fits all situation. There are multiple solutions. And as a society, we are responsible for the homeless.