The Homeless in New York – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Homelessin NYCThe Homeless in New York – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

It was the middle of winter. We wondered why they wanted us to walk the streets on the coldest night of the year. Who would want to be out in such frigid weather?

As we checked in at York College we soon found out the reason. The coordinator said that if anyone was found sleeping in the streets on such a night then that person desperately needed a place to stay. This was empirical data and was perhaps one of the best indicators of homelessness. Such cases, we were told, should be reported and steps would be taken to move the person to a shelter.

New York is a tale of two cities.

It is described as the city that never sleeps and the contrast could not be starker. The homeless make do with makeshift quarters while the upper class party the night away. In fact Bill de Blasio was able to convince a majority of voters in New York about inequality and this helped to propel him into the Mayor’s office. The Homeless Services Department said that homelessness is part of a ‘bigger inequality like low wages and a lack of affordable housing.’

The statistics for the homeless make interesting reading and should jolt policymakers into action. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has reported that in 2014 there were more than 67,000 homeless people in New York City and about 3,000

of them were the street homeless. The overall numbers included 10,845 families and 10,334 single adults. In terms of ethnicity about 56 per cent of the homeless are African Americans, 33 per cent Latinos and 4 per cent whites.

Read more: The homeless in New York – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

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Comments

  • de castro  On 07/14/2015 at 5:35 am

    Shameful disgraceful….words fail me…..
    Homelessness will never be eradicated completely but these numbers are cause for concern….from city that never sleeps.
    London has over 12m but a fraction in numbers.
    My town Crawley (pop 160.000) have 3 or 4 people sleeping in shop fronts
    but there are “shelters” available for them provided by local charities.
    Bed food even showers for them. A warden patrols after shops are closed
    to remove them to shelters.
    No one is homeless ….few are “junkies” who prefer streets to homes.

    That’s their choice !
    No sympathy from me. Sorry.
    If am stopped by a “junkie” who says he is hungry I invite him into McDonald’s
    for a meal but its usually declined as they want “money” to feed their addiction.
    Again no sympathy from me. Sorry life goes on. Some of these are escapees from drug rehabilitation centres.

    Life in 21st century UK

    Que sera

  • Gigi  On 07/15/2015 at 10:46 am

    I was shocked to find out that there are more condemned buildings in NY than they are homeless people. Condemned buildings exacerbate crime, disease in the form of animal (rats, roaches, etc) infestation, structural threat in the form of crumbling infrastructure and dangerous exposure to environmental toxins (- mold, asbestos, fumes, etc).

    Another problem is that low wages coupled with high cost of living create homelessness. Northerners like to equate the south with poverty but a person living on minimum wage in the south is far better off than a person living on minimum wage in the north because the cost of living is not as high and taxes are low. Studies have also revealed that more schizophrenics live in urban cities than in elsewhere and it’s not because they all up and move there, it’s because of the environment. NYC will turn any sane person crazy.

    Most of the homeless and prison populations are individuals with mental illness. Why not turn these prisons into communities/communes similar to those offered to individuals with disabilities, but with varying restrictions depending on the crime. Prison cells can be refashioned into dorms or private rooms where they have a place of their own. The commune can be equipped with self-sustaining farms, offer jobs and provide recreational activities that offer them a sense purpose and belonging. NY spends $34,000 a year per prisoner with no benefit to the taxpayers, the prisoners (many are made worse by the system) and society in general. Isn’t it time to rethink this system?

    Earlier this year I was called for jury duty. When my group got into the courtroom, we were informed that the case was second degree murder and we were then briefed on the particulars – a 3am drug deal gone bad with no credible eyewitness except the dead kid’s drug addicted mother. I sat there cold, shaking and fighting back tears. When my name was called to enter the jury box as a potential juror, I had made up my mind that I did not want the responsibility of sending a man to jail for murder on shoddy evidence. My answers to the questions posed made sure that I would be excused.

    Fascinating article by Johann Hari on drug addiction: The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

    “Addiction is an adaptation to your environment” – Johann Hari

  • de castro  On 07/15/2015 at 12:11 pm

    Gigi
    Much prefer reading your more “passive” resistance writings above.
    You show more care for humanity than most.
    Nice read……sometimes your “violent” outbursts scare the daylights of of me.
    Write on babes…..sadly still my number two.
    Hugsxx

  • Thinker  On 07/15/2015 at 8:40 pm

    The discussion has gone off on the tangent olf addiction. To continue with what Dr. Narine is saying the following is helpful http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/526/homeless-facts.html

  • de castro  On 07/16/2015 at 4:27 am

    Ha ha 😀…..my friend. You are serious……all work and no play makes jack dull !😈😈

    Seriously …..show me a city on planet that does not have “rough sleepers” in their streets.Recession or boom.
    Some will say that’s the price you pay for progress.
    Guess we don’t have to live with that and whenever possible “investigate”
    individual reasons/explanations and act on it

    Everyone can help but the responsibility remains with our locally elected representatives. Hey we pay their wages via local taxes……complain complain complain……within a reasonable time scale.

    Ways I sees it.

    Que sera
    .

  • walter  On 07/16/2015 at 11:09 am

    In Toronto, the city and other organisations had a hard time getting many of the homeless to stay in the shelters..Many of them did not like the “In Home” regulations, NO drinking, smoking, drugs etc, time limits, plus the danger of fighting/robbery, they preferred sleeping on the hot air vents in the streets, even though some actually froze to death, Canada, you know. I now view the pictures and the stories a little differently, not an easy problem to handle.

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