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Bloomberg's Homeless Catch-22

Illustration for article titled Bloombergs Homeless Catch-22

New York's policy on assistance for homeless people and families might be the very thing that keeps employed people on the streets.


I'm sure some of you have seen this article by the New York Times. To summarize, increasing cost of housing is keeping employed people - even those with multiple jobs - homeless. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's stance on the matter is that providing the kind of assistance that would allow homeless individuals and families to get back on their feet is the same policy that would allow homeless people to 'live off the system'.

Oh, where to begin. The biggest problem with Bloomberg's policy is that no one actually wants to be homeless. No one wants to live in a shelter, own just the things they can fit into a dufflebag, wonder where their next meal is coming from and ask for charity when they could find ways to get all of their needs met on their own. While there are some cases where a person is okay living without security, they are such a minute population that they can't even be accounted for.


The NYT article says that the average homeless family costs the city of New York over $3000 per month while the average homeless individual costs the city over $2,300 per month. You're telling me there's no better way to help people but to provide half-assed bandages for a growing problem? You don't think that subsidized housing would provide a stable home life to the 21,600 young people growing up homeless, so at least they can have more than what their parents could pull together?

Policy based on a bootstraps mentality is dangerous and doesn't take reality into effect. I hope whoever follows Bloomberg as mayor doesn't have their head in their asses like he does.

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