“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
Although New York City is known an a “melting pot” and is said to be “ethnically diverse,” only two ethnicities dominate the New York City shelter system. African-Americans and Latinos comprise almost 90% of shelter residents.
According to the Coalition for the Homeless, “approximately 58% of New York City homeless shelter residents are African-American, 31% are Latino, 8% are white, less than 1% are Asian-American, and 3% are of unknown race/ethnicity.”
This year, Brooklyn has been declared “the most unaffordable housing market in America.” Statistics declare that a Brooklyn household that brings in an income of $833 a week (Brooklyn’s reported median household income according to the New York Daily News) would have to spend 98% of that income to be able to live in a median priced house in Brooklyn.
Lazy. Uneducated. Unemployed. Substance abuser. Mentally ill. Unloved. I am none of these, but I am a HOMELESS NEW YORKER. I don’t make the aforementioned statement for the purpose of classifying homeless people into different categories. I make the aforementioned statement to refute the various stereotypes that plague all homeless people, and to share my direct experience.
All homeless people share the burden of living everyday life without the basic necessity of a home. Homeless New Yorkers who seek shelter via New York City’s shelter system have the shared experience of going through the shelter system of a city so unforgiving that it has become famously associated with the tagline: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
I created www.HomelessNewYorker.com to document and share my experiences as a lifetime resident of New York who is now homeless and in the New York City shelter system. Through this site, I will chronicle my journey regarding: The shelter system’s conditions and protocols, the dizzying red tape barriers we face, the expected and unexpected life changes that are the result of homelessness, and many other related topics.
The current record breaking numbers of homelessness in one of the world’s most unaffordable cities must be discussed and eradicated. Share my journey!
(NOTE: No monetary donations requested or accepted.)