NYC Makes Homeless Work for Shelter (2d article)

Peace through Reason (
Sun, 21 Feb 1999 06:03:15 -0500

        NYC Makes Homeless Work for Shelter

        By The Associated Press, February 20, 1999

        NEW YORK (AP) -- Homeless people who sleep in
        city shelters will have to work at city jobs or be
        expelled, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Saturday. 

        Critics of making workfare a condition to sleep in
        shelters say the move would force thousands into the

        Under workfare, those who receive public aid are
        required to work at city jobs, including cleaning parks
        and performing clerical tasks, in exchange for their

        The workfare condition would require city-funded
        homeless shelters to expel any homeless adult or family
        cut from public assistance for failing to comply, and as
        a result require officials to report any child to child
        protective services in jeopardy of ending up on the

        Giuliani said officials try to reincorporate homeless
        people into the work force. ``Maybe that will do more
        for them ultimately than all the fancy government
        programs that were keeping people dependent for 30,
        40 and 50 years,'' he said. 

        About 4,600 families and 7,100 single adults use the
        city's homeless shelters at any given time. 

        Although the mayor has not set a date to implement the
        plan, critics blasted the plan, saying it would destroy
        families and the little stability that homeless people

        ``It's sick. The thought that because you are cut off
        public assistance, you would then lose your place to
        sleep too is sick,'' said Mike Polenberg of the Coalition
        for the Homeless in New York City. 


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