The Partnership for the Homeless

Homeless Impeded in Hunt for Shelter

A response to the NYT article, March 22, 2017

Oh no, here we go again.  Another battle over whether New York City shelter doors are open wide-enough to let in all those families experiencing homelessness.

Of course, shelter is critical in the absence of housing, but we cannot allow this fight – like all those in the past – to once again divert our attention from the larger, more important goals that will finally put an end to the crisis.

Looking back over the years, the homeless rut our city dug itself into got deeper and deeper with each successive mayor.  More shelters were open to meet the demand, and housing and long-term solutions were pushed to the side in an effort to quell the immediate emergency – and the clash over having enough shelter beds.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is certainly no exception.  He recently stumbled into that hole with his plan to open 90 new shelters. 

No wonder the public clamor is rising in proportion to the misery experienced by so many New York families.  We seem to be stuck in this terrible cycle, responding to the problem in a way that accepts homelessness as if it’s just an inevitable part of our urban landscape.

Arnold S. Cohen
President & CEO