Final 12 months, the proportion of New York Metropolis households deemed eligible to dwell in homeless shelters dropped to its lowest level through the de Blasio administration, in keeping with just lately launched metropolis knowledge.
Town has all the time investigated whether or not households who apply for shelter are really homeless, and even in regular occasions they reject a excessive variety of functions. In November of 2014, throughout Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s first 12 months in workplace, town decided that fifty.2% of the households with youngsters that utilized had been eligible.
However final November, 500 out of the 1,900 households who utilized, or 26.1%, had been deemed eligible. (In December, in keeping with knowledge up to date Wednesday, that fee rose barely to 27.9%.) At the moment, 9,800 households dwell in NYC shelters.
Homeless households have been in a position to stay in shelters through the pandemic even when rejected due to a particular rule instituted by town. Nonetheless, advocates say households who’ve been rejected stay in limbo, uncertain how lengthy they’ll be capable of keep and unable to qualify for the subsidies usually provided to homeless households.
“That is at a time when the necessity is best, and we perceive and know that entry to secure house is of utmost significance,” mentioned Giselle Routhier, coverage director on the Coalition for the Homeless. “We can’t declare victory till households are literally given this the security internet that they want and moved into everlasting inexpensive housing.”
Advocates and metropolis officers disagree about why fewer candidates are getting accepted. Once they apply for shelter, households should submit documentation exhibiting all of the locations they’ve lived over the past two years. Routhier mentioned it’s been tougher for individuals to acquire these paperwork through the pandemic.
“Town is simply making use of a strict normal at a time after they must be loosening their requirements,” she instructed Gothamist.
Social Providers Commissioner Steven Banks mentioned that’s not what’s occurring. As of late eviction moratoriums are in place, so fewer persons are shedding their properties.
“The variety of households searching for shelter is at an all-time low,” he mentioned.
As a substitute of many new households coming by way of the system, like they do throughout regular occasions, Banks mentioned the identical households apply repeatedly although they’ve been rejected.
“The eligibility fee displays the truth that people who’re within the shelter system and never being requested to go away are persevering with to reapply,” he mentioned.
Town didn’t present knowledge to again that up, however in an announcement mentioned it’s “wholly inaccurate” to say they’re “turning away extra households.”
Final 12 months, Carmen Molina, 37, was staying with a relative who was subletting an residence, however then all of them needed to go away. In December, she got here to the consumption heart within the Bronx together with her seven-year-old daughter, Yeira. Town positioned Molina in a shelter in Eastchester within the Bronx.
“It is clear, it is nicely run, the safety are very courteous, they usually be taught your title,” she mentioned. “They all the time attempt to assist with what you want.”
However the metropolis instructed Molina she’s truly ineligible for shelter. They usually’ve made that dedication not simply as soon as, however six occasions in lower than two months. Molina has continued reapplying.
“I am persevering with, as a result of I do know that finally I will present the proof that DHS [Department of Homeless Services] is requiring, and, extra importantly, we’d like a spot,” she mentioned.