Homelessness is not an uncommon social issue in America, with over 500,000 people in the country currently experiencing homelessness. Though the numbers decreased between 2007 and 2016, it has been on the rise since then and will continue to be so unless an intervention occurs.
Of all the states in America, some experience homelessness more than others, and New York is one of those states with the second-highest rate of homelessness. The number of homeless people in New York was 91,271 in January of 2020. There are some resources available for folks without a place to live, but it can be hard to navigate the world of shelters, hotlines, and social services departments. We’ve collected some useful information here.

What Factors are Responsible for Homelessness in New York?
The factors which have been identified as the most common cause of homelessness in New York are:

  • Unavailability of affordable houses
  • Eviction
  • Job loss
  • Domestic violence
  • Poor living conditions in their previous place of residence

Unfortunately, high demand for a low supply of houses increases housing costs.

Homeless Demographics in New York
Among the homeless families of New York, it has been found that most of their household heads are people of color with Black families topping the list at 57% and Hispanic families at 32%. According to the 2020 homeless statistics for New York, family households make up the most populated category of homeless people and unaccompanied adults followed this. These adults have higher rates of mental illnesses and addiction disorders when compared with homeless families.
Are There Any Government Interventions in Place?
The government has been actively involved in creating solutions for homeless people all around the state. Below is a summary of the different interventions by the government.

Housing and Support Services
Several programs have been set up by the federal and state government under this to provide solutions to homelessness. The programs include:

  • New York State Supportive Housing
  • Emergency Needs for the Homeless
  • Solutions to End Homelessness
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
  • Operational Support for AIDS Housing
  • Empire State Supportive Housing Program

You can find the details of the above programs here.
As the largest city in the state, New York City also has a handful of provisions for homelessness. Below are some of those provisions.
Clearing Homeless Camps
An initiative was started in January 2022 to clear homeless camps in New York City. However, though 239 camps were cleared in 12 days, only five people moved into the provided homeless shelters.

Grant to Address Youth Homelessness
In September 2021, New York City was awarded a grant of $15 million by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This grant was to be used on new housing interventions to end youth homelessness in the city and prevent its recurrence.
Free Legal Services to Prevent Eradication
As eviction is an established cause of homelessness in the city, they also provide free legal services to people on the verge of eviction.

Homeless Shelters in New York
There are currently 137 homeless shelters in many cities in New York with the most being in New York City with a total of over 140,000 beds. What this means is there are more beds in New York than there are homeless people. While they are not a preferred place of abode, they provide food and shelter even as the government works on more permanent solutions in the coming years. If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness in New York, start here to find out about local hotlines, intake centers, and shelters.

Cities in New York

Latest Shelters Added in New York

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