NYC homelessness rises, despite police "street sweeps" FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 14 Nov 1998 18:42:38 -0400


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FWD  http://www.msnbc.com/local/WNBC/187455.asp


NUMBER OF HOMELESS RISES IN NEW YORK CITY

Advocates for the homeless report that the number of
people now living on the streets of New York City is on
the rise.

'There's no place for them to go to. The
numbers just keep growing every day.'


New York, Nov. 13 - Following Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's quality of life
crackdown, the homeless became less visible on city streets. That trend is
beginning to change, and more homeless people again are living on the
streets of New York.

After years of living in the shadows, more homeless people again are
sleeping on sidewalks and stoops around the city.

"We are seeing more homeless people on the street," said Diane Sonde of
Project Reachout.

Although the number of homeless is not quite as large as before, Giuliani's
aggressive quality of life street sweeps have been ineffective. According
to outreach workers, there are more homeless than in recent years, when the
problem was decreasing.

Advocates offered a variety of reasons to explain the recent surge in
homelessness. They said that city shelters are becoming more crowded, and
shelters have established more rules and regulations that deter the
homeless from using the facilities.

Other reasons for the recent increase in homelessness include cuts in
welfare benefits, a lack of adequate mental health treatment and a shortage
of permanent low-income housing.

According to Mary Brosnahan from the Coalition for the Homeless, "We're
losing tremendous ground from the benchmark from the beginning of the
Giuliani administration. I think that he certainly sanitized the situation
on the streets so people were like, 'Wow, there's no homeless people.' We
knew that they were still around but leading an increasingly nomadic
existence. But now, there's no place for them to go to. The numbers just
keep growing every day."

The mayor disagreed with Brosnahan's assessment of the seriousness of the
situation.

"It's not like a major change has taken place," said Giuliani.

Giuliani did not deny that there might be an increase in the number of
people living on city streets. The issue of homelessness has been addressed
recently by city officials in meetings with various community leaders.

Large numbers of people line up for food and panhandle every night outside
of City Hall.

One homeless man said, "I'm an ATM doorman. I open the door for money. If
you want to give me money, give me money. If you don't want to give me
money, don't give me money."

Although Giuliani acknowledged the increase, he still claimed that homeless
advocates were exaggerating about the numbers. "There are seasonal
alterations in the number of homeless people. Those homeless advocates have
been saying that every year when it gets to be cold," said the mayor.

But it's not just homeless advocates who notice some difference in quality
of life offenses. The Times Square Business Improvement District said that
there might not be more homeless living in their area, but homelessness
still is a problem.

A spokesman for the Times Square BID said, "I do think we see more
panhandlers than we used to."

Downtown, homeless men bedded down for the night in Abingdon Square in
Greenwich Village, community board members worried that they were losing
their grip on the problem.

"We're finding a definite increase of calls and complaints of homeless in
the parks and playgrounds - sheltering, panhandling, sleeping, urinating in
the street. These people have no place to go, obviously to go to the
bathroom, or to take a shower, and suddenly there's an increase all over
the district," said board member Arthur Schwartz.

The Department of Homeless Services was unavailable for comment about what
official action might be taken to alleviate the problem.

END FORWARD
-
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distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

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FWD  http://www.msnbc.com/local/WNBC/187455.asp



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>NUMBER OF HOMELESS RISES IN NEW
YORK CITY


Advocates for the homeless report that the number of

people now living on the streets of New York City is on

the rise.


'There's no place for them to go to. The

numbers just keep growing every day.'

</paraindent>


New York, Nov. 13 - Following Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's quality of life
crackdown, the homeless became less visible on city streets. That trend
is beginning to change, and more homeless people again are living on
the streets of New York.


After years of living in the shadows, more homeless people again are
sleeping on sidewalks and stoops around the city.


"We are seeing more homeless people on the street," said Diane Sonde of
Project Reachout.


Although the number of homeless is not quite as large as before,
Giuliani's aggressive quality of life street sweeps have been
ineffective. According to outreach workers, there are more homeless
than in recent years, when the problem was decreasing.


Advocates offered a variety of reasons to explain the recent surge in
homelessness. They said that city shelters are becoming more crowded,
and shelters have established more rules and regulations that deter the
homeless from using the facilities.


Other reasons for the recent increase in homelessness include cuts in
welfare benefits, a lack of adequate mental health treatment and a
shortage of permanent low-income housing. 


According to Mary Brosnahan from the Coalition for the Homeless, "We're
losing tremendous ground from the benchmark from the beginning of the
Giuliani administration. I think that he certainly sanitized the
situation on the streets so people were like, 'Wow, there's no homeless
people.' We knew that they were still around but leading an
increasingly nomadic existence. But now, there's no place for them to
go to. The numbers just keep growing every day."


The mayor disagreed with Brosnahan's assessment of the seriousness of
the situation.


"It's not like a major change has taken place," said Giuliani. 


Giuliani did not deny that there might be an increase in the number of
people living on city streets. The issue of homelessness has been
addressed recently by city officials in meetings with various community
leaders.


Large numbers of people line up for food and panhandle every night
outside of City Hall.


One homeless man said, "I'm an ATM doorman. I open the door for money.
If you want to give me money, give me money. If you don't want to give
me money, don't give me money."


Although Giuliani acknowledged the increase, he still claimed that
homeless advocates were exaggerating about the numbers. "There are
seasonal alterations in the number of homeless people. Those homeless
advocates have been saying that every year when it gets to be cold,"
said the mayor.


But it's not just homeless advocates who notice some difference in
quality of life offenses. The Times Square Business Improvement
District said that there might not be more homeless living in their
area, but homelessness still is a problem.


A spokesman for the Times Square BID said, "I do think we see more
panhandlers than we used to."


Downtown, homeless men bedded down for the night in Abingdon Square in
Greenwich Village, community board members worried that they were
losing their grip on the problem.


"We're finding a definite increase of calls and complaints of homeless
in the parks and playgrounds - sheltering, panhandling, sleeping,
urinating in the street. These people have no place to go, obviously to
go to the bathroom, or to take a shower, and suddenly there's an
increase all over the district," said board member Arthur Schwartz.


The Department of Homeless Services was unavailable for comment about
what official action might be taken to alleviate the problem.


END FORWARD

-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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