January 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

NYC hit with huge wave of homelessness

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @SkastenbaumCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – New York City is experiencing its largest wave of homelessness since the Great Depression.

The spike started following cuts to a government rent subsidy program. Ironically, the impact of having to provide shelter to more than 20,000 homeless children each night is costing the city more money than the cost of the subsidies.

[3:37] “It costs $36,000 a year to shelter a homeless family in New York City. In comparison, a rental voucher is $10,000 a year. So it’s more than three times more expensive to have that family in shelter than it is to give that family permanent housing,” said Patrick Markee, a policy analyst at the non-profit Coalition for the Homeless.

Ester Fuchs teaches Public Policy and Political Science at Columbia University. She says it’s a prime example of how seeking short term solutions to budget problems can result in more tax dollars being spent down the road.

[4:03] “They’re going after what used to be called entitlements and they are not concerned with the ripple effects down the line for state governments or for city governments.”

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soundoff (907 Responses)
  1. The working Homeless

    I moved to Florida for the kids to be in a "safer and more more calm environment", and needless to say, the job market there is very limited. I was laid off from an Assistant Teacher position and so was my husband. All our savings went into rent and no job application was successful. We ended up living in a motel for a year and drained our savings.

    Not being able to find space in the shelters in that state, which by the way, was limited. We came back to New York and were in a shelter. Six months after living there and hundreds , maybe thousands of resumes later I found a job at a non-profit with no benefits Almost a year later, my husband found a job, too.

    Now, I have read alot of comments here. And am disgusted with people who seem to think homeless people are lazy, uneducated and unworthy. There is a lot of prejudice. I hold a Bachelor's degree, am bilingual ,have a lot of computer skills and still ended up in a shelter. A terrible experience, being we had curfews and had to sign in and out of that place. Filled in hundreds of housing applications and although we did...either we had little income or too much. The living system sucks!!!
    Sure, alot of people were "crack heads". We were the exeption. Not only did we have to attend meetings with caseworkers that would harass us to move out as soon as possible. They were very inefficient in their jobs.

    Two years later, I am grateful to have found my subsidized apartment, with the help of a family friend. If not, I would have stayed there for years.. Not only did I have to deal with being treated like crap, these people should have given us those 36,000 to pay for rent . There are a lot of issues. I believe shelter systems are scams for what I have seen. Luckily, some of you will read this, and understand the problems in this system.

    All I can say is struggle, struggle hard and long to stay at your job and keep your apartment. I hope never to be homeless again and pray this does not happen to some people here.


    February 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. d.b. cooper

    The cost of rent in New York is way beyond blood sucking. $2,000 a month or more to live in a space the size of a hot dog stand. Or the space between Kim Kardashian's butt cheeks.

    February 1, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jesus

    Hey, if you run out of firewood, Wall Street Bankers burn nicely. Their skin makes great overcoats, too...what comes around goes around.

    January 31, 2013 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Real Change

    Your interview did touch on some of the important issues including the fact that shelter costs MORE than subsidy programs, but you failed to address the problem of subsidy programs like Advantage actually drawing people to shelter who would not otherwise enter. Did you notice the signs around the shelter informing people that they would not get the Advantage program by entering? Those are there for a very good reason. Also during the interview you pointed out that with Advantage the family's rent was paid, and implied that the family was paying it. However, the Advantage program typically did not have a tenant portion of the rent to be paid, so it was the program paying the rent not the family.

    I do not begrudge any family or children a roof over their head, in fact I am thankful that the NYC shelter system exists because it would be terrible if all of these families would become street homeless. But the Advantage program was not the solution. I don't think the solution has been found yet, but I believe it would more likely include subsidized housing COMBINED with on site mandatory education classes (or college grants) and job training for real careers. Then you're solving the problem, not subsidizing it.

    January 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • The working Homeless

      You are wrong. The current system and the high rent prices limit many. I believe in subsidized. The Advantage Program just started! Do your research, before judging. I had hundreds of lists just thrown at me to fill in and call the brokers and real estate agents, that to no avail would inform us that we had little income for those apartment listings and we both had full time jobs.

      Once again, although you seem to try to understand. You do not. Had it not been a personal contact, neither private, nor housing would have found us an apartment. Do your research.

      On another note, read my comment. There are also the poor, who are educated too!

      February 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Peter Q Wolfe

    We need to coordinate all government, nonprofit and private sectors together into a interconnected web of resources for these people! More online resources of to transfer, upgrade and educate the work-force is in order that is a ingredient for success! If you have means testing with condition like child limit or incentives by sterilization or choose to be lgtb, then you get more in welfare than the others that might not get as much. Tired of seeing here in Alabama people using churches and government like a throw away peggy bank just throwing away money for nothing. A last thought is that if I wasn't disabled that I'd at least be an electrician that has good payback for my investment in time and money to obtain that certification.

    January 29, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Simona

    It is obvious most of you do NOT understand who homeless people are (nor care to). Homeless are people like you, YES, ALL OF YOU that wrote all that pile of BS in previous posts, that had great jobs, a family, an house. Then, 'something' happened. For women, as simple as they aged, after contributing for years to the system, and their husband died, slowly eat through their savings to pay rent/food, and finally end up in the streets. Or, your husband/wife/kid dies, leaving you in so much despair you loose you job and cannot lift yourself up again to earn enough to pay rent. And more, you get laid off, you are 55, no one will employ you no more, you are divorced, your kids grown and moved away, you slowly end up unable to pay rent, your pension will not be able to make you afford rent, you end up in the streets... etc etc etc... so as such, WE all deserve DIGNITY. And living in the streets is not so. These people cannot move to the mid-west as they are often too old/ill to work and only in the big cities they will get some attention/help. So, while it is obvious we live in a selfish, greedy society, this is not reason not to feel ashamed of leaving people behind just so other can get ahead.

    January 29, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Neece

      So very well said Simona!!!! There are so many reasons that brings a person to this point in their lives but as humans, we all deserve to be treated with dignity. Its so heartbreaking that so many people cannot put themselves in other peoples shoes. We should all treat others the way we would want to be treated! The Lord forbid, this could happen to anyone of the 99% at any time.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fla123

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but did any of these parents interviewed say, "I'd really like to go back to school or find a job?" Sounds like they're just waiting on their programs to provide for them.

    January 29, 2013 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      I think you are making a presumption because you didn't hear something in the story. When I interviewed the couple with 2 kids and 3rd on the way they both told me that they had filled out countless job applications for service industry jobs over the last few years but haven't been hired by anyone. Having a roof over their heads, a stable home, meant that her kids could at least count on going to the same school day after day and be with the same classmates, teachers and after school programs, which might give them a better chance of breaking the cycle of poverty. That's what Columbia Professor Esther Fuchs would say.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
      • fla123

        That's a big part of the story that your viewers want to hear– why they're not working. Was the husband up to doing what many immigrants– legal and illegal– do every day? Move away for a few months to find work and send money home? Based on the interview, these two sound like a very capable couple who understand what the system can and should offer them.

        January 29, 2013 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
        • skastenbaumcnn

          Thanks for the input. I'll keep it in mind for the next one. In this story, I was trying to highlight how a budget cut that produced short term fiscal results wound up costing tax payers more money over the long term, though.

          January 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • The nerdiest nerd

        Thanks, this is what we would all like to hear. Because it seemed as if the couples were just taking advantage of the system.

        February 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • The nerdiest nerd

      No one even mentioned the idea of trying to get a job! It's disappointing that many people like myself work hard every morning, struggle to make things work out and this couple joins a program.

      For three years, they never attempted to better themselves? They're just gonna sit and pray? I don't understand it.

      February 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sagebrush Shorty

    Big Brother Bloomberg will handle it by either taxing homelessness or just prohibiting it.

    January 29, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. NYKER

    Why, did, she, get, pregnant, again?

    January 29, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Richard

    Why just round up and force sterilize these people.

    If they be like to die they better hurry up and do it and decrease the surplus population.

    January 29, 2013 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      Don't you have some nascar you should be watching?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Al

      *yawn* Trolls are such a cliche.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Neece

      Richard, you're a horrible person, to even think something like that! You may one day be walking in those very same shoes!

      January 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom

    And yet, after being in a subsidized apartment for years, this "couple" continues to dig themselves deeper and deeper into trouble by producing yet more kids! Let's set aside housing for a moment. What is the long term plan for WORK for these two people?

    January 29, 2013 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. Poltergiest

    "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"

    That's what they asked for when they built the statue of Liberty.

    January 29, 2013 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly Watkins

      tear that sign down

      February 2, 2013 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. palintwit

    Finding shelter for the NYC homeless is simple. Simply kick all the teabaggers south of the Mason-Dixon line out of their trailer parks. (They're animals anyway) Then give the trailers to the homeless. Easy as pie.

    January 29, 2013 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      How about we kick your teeth in hater.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
      • palintwit

        I hit a nerve didn't I. You must be a bagger or a birther. What do you think of Fake News finally brooming your airhead leader Palin?

        January 29, 2013 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Neece

        Why doesn't it surprise me that Richard would more than likely live in a trailer park! Trailer trash begets trash talk!

        January 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Mayor of Medinah

        And the suggestion of your violent actions would make you what then?

        February 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lemon

    "The weak should not be allowed to live off the strong"


    January 29, 2013 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jacob

    NYC is a city for rich people only. You must have inherited money or a graduate degree to survive here financially. Practically all the working class lives in government-subsidized buildings and eat on government food stamps. There is really no good reason to live there unless you've got money

    January 29, 2013 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob girl

      This Jacob dude is half right....but...you don't have to be rich to live there! I have family up there and they aren't rich! No offense but, only an idiot would think that only rich people can and do live there!

      January 29, 2013 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • mugzee

      New york is the shithole of this country.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Romancaesar

    The reasons "why" we have soooo many homeless in the big metropolitcan cities is because way too many people want "the city life" that they really cannot afford and they were teetering financially long before they had their financial fall from grace. I hear there are tons of jobs in North Dakota for example. Alaska is hiring lots of people too. Omaha Nebraska my friends tells me can't find enough workers.

    WE have way too many people on the coasts, and not enough good people in the middle heartland of this country! The coastal cities are expensive. If you can't afford it, you really have no business being here. That is the hard truth. That is why you have so many homeless in the big cities. But if the homeless were truly smart and savvy they would hop on a greyhound bus and head to the middle part of the country, where there are more churches, more charities that can take care of them.

    They may even find a new lease on life. This goes for all the unemployed too. Stop looking for jobs where there is a glut of people and where you are not needed. GO WHERE THE JOBS ARE, pack your bags and just do it! It's the 1930's all over again under Obama............the grapes of wrath are with us again. He has taken a fender bender and converted it into a 100 car pile up.

    It's really every man for himself out there! Good luck!

    January 29, 2013 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • sukaferret

      Spot on...but i think is more of like a 10,000 pile up....full of Kia, and 10 year old Cash for Junkers.....What a waste of 8 years for this country. The money isn't in the middle USA...its OVER SEAS...Brazil is kicking our a$$, so is 87 other countries. But you are Spot on...

      January 29, 2013 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Many of those in rent control housing in New York City are able to maintain an apartment for a couple hundred a month. Landlords can't raise the rent until they vacate the apartment – and they can be passed down to family members. Public transportation is a lot better in New York City than the middle part of the country. In the inner cities, many women have children out of wedlock (including gay women) because our society gives them entitlements to take care of the children – and often moves them to the top of the public housing list.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Meg

        The rent control you are talking about barely exists in nyc anymore. I know a family of 4 with an income of 70 grand a year in a ONE bedroom apartment in one of the outer boroughs. They cannot afford or qualify for anything bigger in their neighborhood. Move that family to the midwest with the same family and they would own a house and at least one car and be on the upper side of middle class.

        January 29, 2013 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
        • Poltergiest

          The thing is, they will also be payed less for the same job, so it won't be a house on a 70k budget anymore.

          January 29, 2013 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Poltergiest

      You'd would just be homeless in the middle of the country.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • ronmexico99

      Ahem . . . . we have more than enough "good" people in the rural Midwest. Problems with big city living affect smaller communities in the heartland when places like Chicago "suggest" and entice undesirables to move to other places for such things as section 8 and welfare benefits and bring their numerous problems with them. The results have not been positive. If many of these folks would stop having kid after kid after kid they cannot afford their outlooks could be much more bright.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      @Romancaesar – You've hit on something that many people in the field of public policy talk about here... We have a combination of an affordable housing crisis and low paying jobs fueling the growing homeless families problem. About a quarter of the families in homeless shelters actually do have one or both parents working, But they have very low paying jobs in the service industry. Given the lack of available affordable housing in NYC their salaries do not cover the cost of living in New York. It would certainly be more affordable for these families to live in other areas. But we still need people working those jobs here in New York. It's not like the need for that work forces goes away. So, the issue of creating a livable wage law in the state of New York has come up in our state legislature. We'll see where they go with it. Also, many more of those homeless families have tried finding work. They can document this by showing the applications they fill out. They're often required to show that they are looking for work. The problem is when a job position becomes available in a store like Target or Best Buy hundreds of people compete for that one position.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • fred

      what about transportation to and from job, and home?, is there public transportation?, does it run on weekends, poor people aren't gonna be able to afford cars.

      February 2, 2013 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  17. Romancaesar

    The problem is you have way too many people who want to live "the city life" and really were on the edge and can't afford to live in the big metropolitan areas anyway. I live on the west coast, but we need more people to live in the heartland. It's a lot cheaper to house a family in Kansas at $10,000 per year than NYC at $36,000 per year. I would tell them you have two years to find your way, if you do not, you get bussed out of the city to the heartland. Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, those kind of states. Sorry, but you can't afford brie cheese on your bagel anyway, so it really won't matter at that point.

    When you get in those desperate financial straits, you just want a roof over your head and a bed to sleep on and food as you get back to the basics of living.

    January 29, 2013 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Poltergiest

      Dude that's such a douche move. Your cities are the ones breeding homeless people, the heartland isn't, it's your problem you fix it. No one wants to be the dumping ground for NYCs failures. Yalll have been making homeless ever since there was a city there, the supply is endless, we don't want any.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  18. Dan Crawford

    Bloomberg to help? Nah....he's way to busy chasing around farmers in Bumfuk, Iowa, taking their evil shotguns.....

    January 29, 2013 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Lemon

      Not to mention taking their super-sized sodas..

      January 29, 2013 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  19. Dan Crawford

    Nanny Bloomberg is too busy worried about people with shotguns in Bumfuk, Iowa to take care of his own folks in need.

    January 29, 2013 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  20. /\ I see you...

    Spirit is lifted before a fall..

    January 29, 2013 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  21. /\ I see you...

    Spirit is lifted up before a fall...

    January 29, 2013 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  22. Shahin

    Actually, NYC is lucrative place to many people in the world and almost everybody want to come and live in the city. The problem is the city does not have enough liveable paying job that create homelessness. A person can work at Mcdonald or Dunkin Donut but can not pay the rent and food expense.

    January 29, 2013 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Robsssss

      It has more do to with mental illness than anything – many of the homeless have mental illness, and a good many are female victims of domestic violence or have other issues that make it difficult for them to function properly and productively – it has less to do with employment. People double and triple up on apartments if they have to in order to afford the rent, particularly in Manhattan.

      January 29, 2013 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
      • tron

        I believe you are right the Northeastern US is crawling with mental misfitl, I don't know if it is from inbreading or something in the water.

        January 29, 2013 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  23. freehousingfreeland@yahoo.com

    $3,000 rent per month is in downtown manhattan. or highrise...mortgage is less than $1300 in many parts of the country and parts of new york.

    January 29, 2013 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Lemon

      Come to Detroit, $3000 will buy you a house.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  24. freehousingfreeland@yahoo.com

    after paying property taxes, mainteance fees, management fees, and mortgage payments on rental properties,,the profits mediocre hence less private interest in rental housing. gov't projects don't pay property taxes but maintenance is much more for gov't housing. red tape.

    January 29, 2013 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Robsssss

      I disagree – there are always a ton of investors willing to speculate on NYC real estate, particularly in rental markets. Throughout NYC, inflation adjusted profit margins for landlord of rental properties from 1990 to 2008 was 9.3% per year – you show me any other investment that has steadily performed like that, particularly over that time frame.

      January 29, 2013 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  25. freehousingfreeland@yahoo.com

    it doesn't cost $36,000/ year for housing..it's only when gov't red tape does it cost $36,000 to put roof over your head. that is $3,000/month for rent..mortgage for a house is only $1,000 in some cities,,so that 36K /year is garbage.

    January 29, 2013 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
    • What in the World...

      The article doesn't state that it costs $36,000 to house a family. It costs $36,000 to shelter the family in a facility, not their own housing. These families are being housed in large shelters with hundreds of other people. The electricity alone in these large building are in the thousands of dollars. A lot of money is needed to "shelter" these people. Also money used needed for the programs to get them out of the shelter into their own affordable housing. I know this because I used to volunteer as a career couselor at a shelter in Brooklyn, NY.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  26. worldcares

    Shutting down mental institutions and facilities, with no plan to help these people, but to turn them out on the street, is ruthless and inhumane.

    January 29, 2013 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Robsssss

      yup – and that's what happened – the mentally ill have been cut loose and victims of domestic violence and broken families have been left to fend for themselves.

      January 29, 2013 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  27. Wash123

    This is why people should save their hard earned income for emergency situations like this, so if they lose their house, at least they can have something to fall back on.

    January 29, 2013 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • snowleopard

      Wash123: Spoken like a true stock trader! When you have three kids, school clothes, fees, electric bills in winter, you sir, do not know what poor means, so why not open your wallet and donate instead of your big conservative mouth.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      LOL! Save their money. Like maybe DON'T pay the electricity bill, DON'T pay the rent, DON'T buy groceries and SAVE that money! Wow!

      January 29, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
      • mugzee

        Don't forget the grossly inflated gasoline prices.

        January 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  28. MrWord

    People are hateful and expect everyone to see them as better people because they work and pay taxes. Whatever you are an ungrateful selfish phony being. On a moral scale your worst to the planet earth then the roach deer bear or fish you keep trapped in a tank. As it stands science has comfirmed one thing and its everything will come to an end. Thats the greatest gift God gave to the pure hearted. Knowing that evil people will vanish is a heart warming feeling. And by the way selfish man anyone on welfare that recieves cash and is not disabled most work for the state. But I bet your hateful heart would line them up and commit gencide. A humans heart is filled with greed and knowing the truth about this place i misteriously woke up in makes me wish i never was born. Cant wait to go back to where I was NOTHINGNESS.

    January 29, 2013 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Rev. Dave


      You sound very much like a tortured soul. Don't let hate consume you. We are not to judge. I will say a prayer for you today.

      May God help you find peace.


      Rev Dave

      January 29, 2013 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  29. michael

    I have lived and being abused in them,it is report the facts or sleep outside,great place for kids.I did not mention to you a spinal cord problem.My family lived in the same town but no help religious or maternal to get me out of there.they acted like nothing was wroung..know out I do not want to no them.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  30. Tim Roberts

    The homeless are homeless because they have neither the gumption, nor the fortitude, nor the aspirations, nor the decency to plant their feet, take a stand, and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Real Americans create wealth; or at least expropriate it from some slacking sadsack who deserves it not.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Actually, for Mr. Roberts, the impact of Superstorm Sandy probably has a lot to do with new homelessness along the East Coast. Every year, in many different parts of the world, the situation is bound to become worse, and the USA isn't immune to weather-rleated disasters that destroy homes, or the possibility of building new cities and places of business. It would be easy to say that moving housing plans to higher altitudes inland, could help alleviate the future, predictable bad times ahead, due to global warming hazards, but that's merely talk, until the effort becomes a manageable reality.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      While I might agree with certain aspects of the previous statement, your an ass because society has things backwards. We send MILLIONS to help other countries with their poor and destitute, but yet we forget our own.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Robsssss

      I'll tell ya what, Mr. Bootstraps – let's inflict you with mental illness, say schizophrenia, and see how well your future becomes, and you'hold down a job and create wealth. How about we change your gender to female and subject you to a physically abusive spouse who beats the crap out of you and throws you out into the street and we'll see if you show up to work the next day raring to go. The largest causes of homelessness in NYC are mental illness and domestic violence/broken families – it has very little to do with a lack of inspiration to succeed.

      January 29, 2013 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Lemon

      I think this is pretty much in line with the principles of Satanism...are you a Satanist? If not you should really look into it you might like what you see.
      Atlas Shrugged was the inspiration for the writing of the Satanic Bible.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  31. Sam

    This man should be killed, he has no respect for human life and never will. How stupid do you have to be to get your wife pregnant when you already have two kids and nowhere to live.

    It's sick! We've become a sick society and it's time we spoke out and told people to STOP having children. Anyone who is reading this I BEG you please stop having kids and convince others to stop having so many kids. For the sake of HUMANITY please stop having so many kids.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Robsssss

      uh – I hope you don't plan on collecting any social security when you retire then, because without children they'll be nobody to pay into the system to fund it, or any other care for you when you get old. Good Luck with that....

      January 29, 2013 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Kay Jen

        Do you really think homeless children will eventually pay into Social Security? My guess is probably not.

        January 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
        • Steven Boone

          Kay Jen, do you have any idea how many "homeless children" went on to become highly productive and successful adults? Charlie Chapli, Ella Fitzgerald, Benjamin Franklin, Gordon Parks... The list would take all year, and that's just the famous people. You probably unwittingly pass by many hardworking homeless people every day because they don't fit the stereotype. Many of us are clean, sober, ambitious and hardworking. And, while my parents were never homeless, I doubt that homeless would have made a difference in their character.

          January 30, 2013 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  32. Tony

    Here is the sad truth. These social programs were in place to help people and families, however this has transformed into a way of life. There are some people as long as you take care of them they will never have the desire to take care of themselves. Some even fell like they are beating the system. Getting welfare, rent subsidies, and food subsidies( food stamps and or WIC). All of which are taxpayer supported which cost thousands of dollars a year. Then the cherry on top is when tax season comes along they get sometimes 10k-12k returns combined between state and federal returns. While most middle class people see a fraction of that. If they see anything at all. So now our political leaders are too afraid to do or say anything about it ( If there a minority they don't want to lose the minority vote, or if there white there afraid to be called racist.) Or the politician that wants the tax entitlements for the wealthy says noting as long as the we don't mess withe good ole boys. If we don't toughen up and show people that we don't want to be responsible for them and there children after a reasonable amount of time, we will continue to deal with this.

    January 28, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • bruce

      were you are right in some ways in other you are dead wrong I am a full time college student and work a part time job . I can not afford medical insurance so i am looking at the medical card as a option not only that but my step father worked all his adult life a a truck driver get hurt in an accident now can not work and barley gets any money from disability so we are barley surviving here in southern Illinois

      January 29, 2013 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  33. plan

    Government assistance should be for, elderly and handicaped disabled – not for those down on they're luck. That 's nothing more then demorats buying votes it's a sham and it should be stopped. This is what would be my gov assistance reform plan A:) you go on any gov assistance – any – your vote in the jurisdiction where you get assistance has a 50% weighing factor, or you have 1/2 vote. Stay on assitance over 1 yr 1/4 vote, 2 years zilch. 2:) Unless you are over 65, handicapped, disaled unable to work, gov will help find you work in the private sector, whos hiring where, and how to go about moving there – or 3:) Gov will give you work, doing menial task, it is an opportunity to build up a sort of work credit history to get you on your feet. This will menial – ungratifyig work. Else your on your own.

    January 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  34. My

    Seriously! You have a free place to live for 3 years, two small children, a grown man living in there and one on the way! Get outta here. WOW! I have no sympathy. Well for the children but seriously...

    January 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robsssss

      Look, I have little sympathy too if he's an able bodied man with no severe mental illness that would keep him from supporting himself and his family – but that's not the point of the article – the point is it cost $36k per year in the shelter system, but only $10k a year for a rental voucher that provides for a permanent residence. I'll go one further – when this guy robs a bodega to feed his kids it will cost us $40k per year to keep him in prison, plus the $36k per year to house the rest of his family in the shelter system. If you want to save money you provide the $10k per year vouchers and find this guy a job, train him to so something, anything, to help him to become self-supporting. That's how you save a lot of money – "teach a man to fish....."

      January 29, 2013 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  35. Moe1138

    Liberalism at its finest. I can't wait to see what's next..The Bubonic Plague?

    January 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Carlitos

    I heard the radio broadcast and it is a joke. A program called "Advantage", what a fitting name. The comments by the Columbia professor, a complete lie. If this family had housing for three years why didn't this fool get a job during that time and his wife another fool also. Instead they got lazier than they already are. Why is it that the studies never show that by providing entitlements for people creates a culture of dependency and ungratefulness. I do feel sad for the children, not because they are homeless but because the have a couple of low-lives for parents. May God protect them and favor them. CNN, please do something to find a job for these people to help them get back on their feet. BY WORKING NOT BY RECEIVING HANDOUTS BY THE GOVERNMENT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TAXPAYER!!

    January 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Richard

    Work for welfare should be mandatory. U.S. city infrastructure needs something like a $2.7 trillion investment, time to put the homeless to work. Generational welfare should be a crime.

    January 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tadams

      That would be fine as long as they pay them the wage the work Is worth.wait a min then they won't need welfare are you getting it yet?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Matt

        The wage they're worth ot the wage they think they're worth? Getting it yet?

        February 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Jason

    Attempting to take the standpoint that those who aren't winning in the game of Pure Capitalism, which heavily favors Nepotism, not having the right to procreate is so ignorant, and downright offensive, that I don't even know where to begin. Go back to morality school, kindergarten preferably, you have no place in rational discussion.

    January 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonymous399

      The right to procreate?
      If you lack the skills to provide the resources for your children, please don't have them. Your lack of ability, work either, and/or foresight doesn't obligate the government (aka the other citizens) to provide for your children. Your children are not my responsibility. They are yours.
      Also, the constitution does not give you the right to procreate.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • anonymous399

        * work ethic

        January 29, 2013 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • anonymous399

      Oh, and lastly you could begin with a rational and/or philosophical argument, rather than an indignant attitude and the unsupported assertion that everyone has a right to procreate. Although at least you clearly admitted that you "didn't know where to begin" when forming a response. It turns out, if enough unskilled people procreate, eventually their unskilled children will overwhelm the resourced provided by the people who actually produce. Starvation, disease, an anarchy will result. And at that point there will be no one to whom you can turn, because everyone that can produce will have been driven out of the system.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      "...heavily favors nepotism"? I believ it heavily favors hard work and common sense.

      February 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  39. lonestarst8

    listening to the CNN radio it stated there were 48,000 homeless people currently. while New York Cities coalition for the homeless website in October 2012 states 48,694 people not including, families in private shelters or "other" public housing, domestic violence shelters, special emergency shelters, faith based shelters and drop in centers. so when you look at the bigger picture, greater numbers than the great depression and the fact that they are only counting municipal centers the number is GROSSLY misrepresented by 48,000 people! after a few hours of research and math i estimate New York Cities homelessness to be over 100,000.

    January 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  40. ronjayaz

    Strongly recommend coming to the Southwest for a new life. It's a balmy climate for those who are homeless. Tucson is especially receptive to the poor and needy. Our library, probably the best in the Southwest, even has a special program of getting U a job.Time to go west once again, America.

    January 28, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • BRS480

      Actually, RonJay, we do not need any more poor people here. We are doing just fine not taking good care of the ones we have. Perhaps they'd be better off in a BLUE state..

      January 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • ronjayaz

        "Send us yor tired and yor poor..." Incidentally, the lovely thing abt Tucson is that there's a lovely mix of indigenous people, Mexicans (U can learn Spanish) and the even the "whites" are nice. I think it has something to do with the mix. Yes, it's poor but money isnt the evil that it is in NYC! Come on down! Or is it over. Tucson or bust.

        January 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Missaness

      Sorry ronjayaz. Hell no. Having lived in Tucson myself for 26 years now. We are a poor community ourselves. We have a city that does nothing. Let's not even talk about offering jobs. An outdated transit system, incredibly misplaced/misused funds. While I don't consider myself 'poor' I know that I might seem like that with my household income for 5 people being about 35k.

      On the bright side, we pay all our bills. We don't live in assisted housing. Hell. We even pay for our own medical insurance and don't get food stamps either! The only way the economy ANYWHERE is going to improve is if the government stops giving handouts and makes people WORK for what they need.

      January 29, 2013 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
      • Romancaesar

        Yep! I agree and all the people who voted for Obama, you are getting just what you DESERVE!! Impoverished lives, high taxes, no jobs, high cost of living, and "no hope and change". Or...........maybe this is the change you wanted! 😉

        January 29, 2013 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
      • ronjayaz

        35,000 in Tucson is equal to $70,000 anywhere else since we are at the bottom of the economic ladder. The problem with writer is that he/she duznt thin they'll ever get old or infirm or w/o a job. Most homeless eventually pick themselves up and get a job. Welcome to Tucson (pronounced TOO.SAN). See u all from New Yok City!

        January 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  41. nope

    How about we turn the homeless in to tires, that way we will still have homeless, but we can use them, on our cars.

    January 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dancing Baptist

      Won't work. The lashings keep fraying.

      January 29, 2013 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  42. Bill

    No problem. I'm sure Mayor Bloombutt has a way to solve this problem. He'll just make homelessness illegal, just like he made super sized sodas and guns illegal.

    January 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danno

      Capital idea.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  43. PetePete1

    Obamas Dream Act.....Now YOU have to deal with it Bloomberg....Ha Ha Ha!

    January 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Sandra LeVin

    @ Ari – "john kerry supports increasing taxes on people like (and including) himself."

    That's why he parked his yacht in Rhode Island – so he could avoid paying taxes to Massachusetts.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • hht878

      Yes, but when the public found out, he paid the docking fee/ taxes or whatever.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  45. time is moneyjames.hotz@att.net

    My parents never did a thing for me, stole my inheritance from my grandma, left me in a boarding school, I had to mow lawns, collect pop bottles as a kid as my old man would take us to the beach to gauck at the women and never gave us a dime for a snow cone. At christmas my friend and I would go out in the freezing cold to sing Christmas carols for a hand out. My mom never even gave me $7.00 for a student body card , and made me late to class every day. My first car was a real piece of shitt, I worked in restaurant washing dishes for school, and the jerk let me go cause he had a relative who needed a job. i had to go to Vietnam and see 100 Marines come home in body bags. My step dad left me in his bankruptcy, my old man lost everything in the stock market, my mom died of breast cancer and left me her husbands bankruptcy. My exwife became a alcoholic and divorsed me for a married man. In 1992 I had to buy another house as the courts sold my home and the earthquake demoslished the new house. But I still give money to the poor, what the hell might as well throw that away to, you can't take it with you. But today I'm doing ok thanks to the Lord, you know you always have the Lord by your side. Thank you Jesus.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey Batchelorian

      That sounds so pitiful. What do you want-pity? Did you spend nights on the streets? Obviously you are not too poor-or you wouldn't be able to respond with your i-phone or laptop. Whats the matter with you? Try going to Solo Indonesia or the Favela in Rio and then tell the world just how bad your upbringing was. Don't you think this was all part of Gods' plan for you?
      Not trying to be mean-my apologies, however there are people out there with really big concerns.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • chuck wagon

        @jeffrey doesn't sound like time is moneyjames.hotz@att.net is asking for pity at all. It appears he has had a tough childhood and life and through it he is "Thankful" as alot has been overcome!

        January 29, 2013 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
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