Why Mayor de Blasio’s Homeless Plan Won’t ‘Turn the Tide’

By Ellen L. Bassuk, MD

Family homelessness in New York City has reached staggering proportions, with the average length of stay in family shelters exceeding 400 days. Given this context, we have concluded that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new plan, “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City,” will not succeed. 


'We Moved So Many Times I Didn't Think It Was Strange' (2016)

By Hoa K. Vu

Roughly one out of eight New York City public school students has been homeless sometime during the past five years, according to a recent estimate by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness. With family homelessness remaining at record levels, tens of thousands of children are growing up in shelters. In her own words, one tells her story.



Urban Matters | Children, Youth, and Families, Homelessness 

Ending Family Homeless Shelters As We Know Them (2016)

 By Ralph Nunez, PhD
Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a restructuring of how the nation’s largest city serves its most impoverished citizens: the homeless.
 With the city’s homeless population at a near-record high of almost 58,000 people – including, distressingly, almost 23,000 children – the mayor is absolutely right about the need for fresh thinking in meeting this challenge. Such reforms must go beyond this latest administrative reorganization. And the first thing that must change is the concept of the homeless shelter itself.


Urban Matters | Children, Youth, and Families, Homelessness

When the Face of Homelessness is a Baby's Face (2016)

By Kendra Hurley
When we talk about homelessness, the conversation typically—and understandably—focuses on families’ most pressing needs: affordable housing; jobs that pay a living wage; and subsidized child care so that parents can work and families can find a way out of the shelters and into permanent homes.
To talk about anything else is, to some extent, talking about a Band-Aid solution to a deep social and economic problem. The reality, however, is that homeless families today spend an average of more than 400 days living in New York City shelters.  


Report | Homelessness, Mental Health

In Need of Shelter: Protecting the city’s youngest children from the traumas of homelessness (2015)

By Kendra Hurley and Abigail Kramer 
This Child Welfare Watch report describes the stresses that homelessness puts on families with young children, and explores the discontinuity between the large number of young children in the shelter system and the dearth of services available to them.  

Urban Matters | Homelessness, Children, Youth, and Families, Mental Health

Protecting the City's Children from Homelessness (2015)

The de Blasio administration has made reducing family homelessness a key priority. Nevertheless, homeless families spend on average over 400 days in city shelters, and the number of families is near a record high. How can we keep children in city-subsidized shelters safe? How can we use the time they spend in shelter to foster rather than derail their development? How can we support parents who are leaving shelters that may be the only homes their children have known? 

Clara Hemphill, interim director, Center for New York City Affairs; Christy Parque, executive director, Homeless Services United, Inc.; Janee Harvey, program director for preventative programs, CAMBA; Joyce McMillan, parent organizer, Child Welfare Organizing Project

Urban Matters | Homelessness, Children, Youth, and Families

No Way to Pay: What's next for homeless families in NYC? (2012)

New York's homeless population is near an all time high, with more than 40,000 New Yorkers living in shelters — including 16,500 children and their parents. Amid the fiscal crunch, New York City and State recently ended a unique rent subsidy program that helped thousands move out of shelters and into apartments, and new federal rent subsidies are nowhere to be found. The search is on for new housing alternatives.  

Seth Diamond, Commissioner of New York Department of Homeless Services; Michael Powell, Gotham Columnist, New York Times; Catherine Trapani, HousingLink Director at New Destiny Housing; Patrick Markee, Senior Policy Analyst at Coalition for the Homeless; Steve Banks, Chief Attorney at Legal Aid Society of New York

Report | Homelessness, Mental Health

In Transition: A better future for youth leaving foster care (2011)

By Andrew White, Clara Hemphill, Kendra Hurley, and Abigail Kramer
This special double edition of Child Welfare Watch reports that homelessness and severe economic hardship are widespread for young people aging out of New York City foster care.


Event | Homelessness, Children, Youth, and Families

Foster Teens in Transition (2011)

For years, rates of homelessness among the city's former foster youth have remained stubbornly high. The city is connecting more teens to families, keeping more of them out of foster care in the first place, and developing new programs for pregnant and parenting foster teens. But for those remaining in foster and group homes, resources are being cut. Can NYC meet the needs of teens still in care, and those who have recently left? Are young people leaving foster care better prepared for adulthood today than they were a decade ago?

Linda Lausell Bryant, executive director, Inwood House; Priti Kataria, ACT (Adolescents Confronting Transition) director, Lawyers for Children; Theresa Nolan, division director NYC Programs, Green Chimneys; Rosetta Savana, participant, Nurse-Family Partnership; Maryanne Schretzman, family services coordinator, Office of Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs; Lorraine Stephens, Deputy Commissioner for Family Permanency Services, NYC Administration for Children's Services; Andrew White, director, Center for New York City Affairs