No, I’m not anti-animal shelters. I just find it ironic and bizarre that in a year where homelessness has broken Great Depression records in New York City, the above picture is the cover of a New York City newspaper. Shouldn’t the city be primarily focused on PEOPLE. Here’s a novel idea: Find the people homes and they will shelter the animals.
The cover article discusses New York City’s mayor’s proposed budget for the city’s upcoming fiscal year. The article describes the state-of-the-art animal shelters that will be built in two boroughs. However, there is only a small-print mention of an allocation for homeless shelters for citizens of the city. The amount of money earmarked for homeless shelters for people isn’t specified. It is listed in the article under, “Other Funds For,” and is described as “for a homeless plan focused on prevention and rehousing.”
-The Homeless New Yorker
According to a study cited by the New York Daily News in an article from September 2015, it is impossible for a minimum wage worker to afford the rent in any New York City neighborhood. The study states that “A New Yorker would need to make at least $38.80 an hour (more than four times the current minimum wage) to afford the city’s median rent of $2,690.”
According to a March 14, 2016, article entitled, “NYC Homeless Would Rather Risk the Street Than Hellish Shelter System,” the New York Daily News obtained records that show, “that in 2015, there were 1,687 so-called ‘critical incidents’ in the city’s shelters. That’s about five a day or 32 a week.”
Officer.com defines a “critical incident” as “any event that has a stressful impact sufficient enough to overwhelm the usually effective coping skills of an individual. Critical incidents are abrupt, powerful events that fall outside the range of ordinary human experiences.”
“The rich got richer- everyone else started falling behind economically. Just when you would not expect that to come with a huge increase in the cost of housing. Guess what? The cost of housing skyrocketed. Even after the great recession, the cost of housing skyrocketing in this city. Those unfortunately were the building blocks of this crisis. So, the fact is, the reality of homelessness in this city changed profoundly; it became much more an ecomonic reality. But the city’s approach to homelessness didn’t change- didn’t recognize these new realities.” -Mayor De Blasio