The number of families forced to move into homeless shelters jumped 23% over 4 years, with spikes seen even in some middle class and upper income neighborhoods, Families also stayed longer in shelters, an average of 431 days, up from 243, meaning there are even more families with children in city homeless shelters today than at the height of Great Recession, according to the Citizens’ Committee for Children analysis. Number of families who went into shelters rose from 10’878 in fiscal year 2012 to 13’311 in 2016. Jumps were seen in higher income neighborhoods like Chelsea and Midtown, where number of families with kids going into shelters surged from 46 in 2013 to 79 in 2015. In upper West Side, it jumped from 58 to 87 families and in Astoria, Queens, from 73 to 90.
Those neighborhoods have pockets of poverty even though they are well off overall and in Astoria, rents surged by 27% compared to before the recession, while median income for families with children declined 14%. Overall, at least 60% of families who moved into homeless shelters came from 15 of the city’s 59 community districts with the worst rates of homelessness, including Mott Haven, Hunts Point and Morrisania in Bronx. The largest increase was in Mott Haven, where nearly 19 out of every 1’000 families went into a homeless shelter in 2015.
“There are many community districts in NYC where the number of homeless families continues to rise. It’s critical to examine what is driving housing instability among families” said CCC executive director Jennifer March