ALJAZEERA AMERICA on NEW YORK CITY HOMELESS - No Place Like Home for the Holidays by Wilson Dizard
The charity Coalition For The Homeless estimates that as of September there were 58,000 people in the city shelters. But shelters can be dangerous for vulnerable members of the homeless community, according to those who opt to stay away.
According to a New York City census conducted earlier this week, "Of the 58,913 individuals in shelter there are 12,316 families with minor children and 2,135 adult families. There are 11,357 single adults."
The city's Department of Homeless Services said that according to an annual estimate last conducted in January 2014 about three to four thousand people sleeping outside each night in New York. The agency said it could not respond to "anecdotal" accounts of dangerous conditions at indoor havens for the homeless, adding that many families sleep each night at public facilities.
“In New York City, there is a legal right to shelter all eligible families and individuals in need," the DHS said in a statement. "This mandate requires us to provide a comprehensive system of services to homeless New Yorkers, treating them with dignity and respect.”
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