We fund our Homeless In-Reach Center with private donations ...
Homelessness is, in fact, caused by tragic life occurrences like the loss of loved ones, job loss, domestic violence, divorce and family disputes. Other impairments such as depression, untreated mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, and physical disabilities are also responsible for a large portion of the homeless. Many factors push people into living on the street.
For those living in poverty or close to the poverty line, an "everyday" life issue that may be manageable for individuals with a higher income can be the final factor in placing them on the street. Divorce costs and the associated lowering of a family's total income can cause one or more family members to become homeless. For families that can hardly pay their bills, a serious illness or disabling accident may deplete their funds and push them out onto the street.
Today, the rapid, unexpected loss of jobs and resultant foreclosures has caused great dislocation among families and has dramatically added to the number of people without a roof over their heads.
Homeless Statistic: The number of homeless people sleeping each night in the New York City shelter system increased by seven percent, from 50,135 people in January 2013 to 53,615 people in January 2014, the highest level ever recorded. Between 2012 and late 2014, those two “post-recession” years when luxury housing boomed, the numbers shot up by about 20,000.
Homeless Statistic: The number of homeless single adults sleeping each night in the New York City shelter system rose five percent to 11,342 women and men, a new all-time record.
Homeless Statistic: Over the course of FY 2013, more than 111,000 different New Yorkers – including more than 40,000 different children – turned to the homeless shelter system, five percent more than the previous year.
At our Times Square Homeless In-Reach Center Project FIND:
- Provides a safe space where homeless seniors can shower, get clean clothes and a meal
- Connects them with a social worker who can obtain the full spectrum of entitlements for which they are eligible
- Assesses their need for medical and mental health services with an onsite clinic
- Reconnect homeless seniors with supportive networks of family and friends
- Work with them to determine the most appropriate housing options and support them as they make the transition off life on the streets
It is important to remember that making meaningful inroads with this population requires patience and ongoing one-to-one contact. Many of these individuals suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness which greatly complicates their ability to secure housing of any sort. A notable success has been the placement of more than 50% of the long-term homeless individuals in permanent, temporary and shelter based housing. On average we place one formerly homeless senior in housing every 5.5 days –all year long.