1,000,000 Ways To Become Homeless

1000000 Ways To Become HMLS

There are a myriad of reasons that people become homeless. There is a stereotype that people become homeless due to mental illness, substance abuse, or poor financial management. While these issues may be a catalyst for homelessness for some people, there are many people who have never grappled with these issues that are still challenged with homelessness.

In Homeless New Yorker’s 1,000,000 Ways To Become Homeless posts, I will explore the varied ways that people find themselves homeless.

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Almost 90% Of NYCHA Was Without Heat & Hot Water Last Winter

NYCHA

According to the New York Post, the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society filed a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain statistics regarding NYCHA.

The information obtained revealed the following troubling statistics about New York City’s housing projects:

  • NYCHA has 174,000 apartments, out of which more than 150,000 went without heat or hot water for a period of time during last winter.
  • 259 out of 326 of NYCHA’s developments went without heat and/or hot water between October 1, 2018, and May 31, 2018.

The New York Post states: “[NYCHA] is under a partial federal takeover because of city mismanagement, including a lead-paint debacle…NYCHA has until October 2024 to reduce heating outages to just 15 percent of apartments during the winter under the agreement City Hall signed with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

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2 New Homeless Shelters To Come To Park Slope

2 New Park Slope Shelters

Tomorrow a meeting will be held at John Jay High School to address two new homeless shelters that are proposed to be opened in Park Slope before the end of 2019.

The meeting, which will be held at 237 7th Avenue, between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM, will reportedly be attended by elected officials, representatives of the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS), and representatives of Women In Need (WIN).

The two shelters will be operated by WIN. According to The Bklyner, one shelter, proposed to be opened in September, will be a 148-unit shelter located at 535 4th Avenue. The other shelter, located at 555 4th Avenue, is proposed to be opened in November 2019. It will house 105 shelter units.

NYC is still seemingly attempting to solve its serious housing crisis by building new homeless shelters rather than turning available properties into affordable housing? I’m still unclear exactly what the city’s plan is here. What city official can accurately articulate the city’s affordable housing plan?

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Teen Overcomes Homelessness And Garners 18 College Acceptances

Dylan Chidick and Mom

Dylan Chidick, who is class president at his Jersey City, New Jersey high school, went through a bout of homelessness in 2017. He kept his housing struggles a secret from his classmates; however, his schooling was greatly affected.

In a recent Washington Post article, Dylan described his time at a New Jersey homeless shelter as “really scary.” The shelter’s dangerous environment and restrictive rules caused his grades to slip. According to the Washington Post, “The shelter disrupted his studies, with curfews butting with his habit of doing homework late into the night.” The scholar is also quoted as saying: “I was so focused on never getting back in that situation, that I was just — my studies took a hit… This senior year, I made a pact like: Get straight A’s again.”

After his family secured housing in 2017, Dylan was able to keep his pact. He has thus far been accepted to 18 colleges. Dylan Chidick’s goal is to become an attorney. After being left “shaken” by his experience with homelessness, he plans to dedicate his career to increasing the amount of justice in the world.

In regards to his bout with homelessness, the young king said, “I’m not going to let that one part define me.”

Congratulations! Keep shining young king!

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Housing Voucher Requests Stopped In Midst Of Government Shutdown

US Capitol

Parts of the Federal Government will be closed due to an impasse between President Trump and Congress. According to The Washington Post, Congress is lingering in a “stalemate with President Trump over border wall funding.” The President is reportedly seeking approval of $5 billion for the funding.

The Government shutdown began on Saturday at midnight. It has yet to be determined how long the shut down will last.

During the shutdown, not only will approximately 400,000 federal employees go without pay, but some governmental administrative and social services will be halted or abbreviated.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will reportedly stop processing requests for housing vouchers until the shutdown ends.

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Homeless New Yorker Red Tape Quote Of The Week: The Shelter vs. Street Homeless Edition

HMLS New Yorker Red Tape

“I had a skateboarding accident. My brain was bleeding. I can’t move my shoulder. I worked in construction, but now I can’t do that job. I can’t do the hammering motion. I tried living in a shelter but it’s worse than jail. It’s mixed up between the crazies, the criminals and the addicts. It’s gross. All night they’re coughing. I have a van. It’s nicer than the shelter. I want to work. I have an interview today for an apprenticeship at a body shop.” -Elliot, 49, newly homeless, hometown San Francisco

[SOURCE: SF Gate article, “We Asked 12 Homeless People What Happened” By: Amy Graff]

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World’s Richest Person Creates $2 Billion Fund To Help Homeless

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, who is said to currently be the world’s richest person, has reportedly created a $2 billion fund to help homeless families.

According to Bloomberg News: “The Bezos Day One Fund will focus on two initiatives…The first will fund existing nonprofits and issue annual awards to organizations doing ‘compassionate, needle-moving work’ to shelter and support the immediate needs of young families. The second will operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship Montessori-inspired preschools.”

According to Inc., Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $163 billion. He is Amazon’s largest stockholder, owing 16% of the company’s shares, and the owner of The Washington Post.

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A Federal Court Rules That It Could Be A Constitutional Violation To Arrest Homeless For Sleeping Outdoors

8th amendment

This week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals ruled that prosecuting homeless people for sleeping outside might be a violation of the United States Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which bars cruel and unusual punishment.

According to U.S. News, the Portland, Oregon- based appeals court stated that when homeless shelters had too few beds, “sitting, lying and sleeping on the streets was an ‘unavoidable consequence’ of homelessness, and it would be an Eighth Amendment violation for cities to punish that conduct when their shelters had too few beds.”

The court also stated that : “As long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

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