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New York City Homelessness: Rate Up 23 Percent (STUDY)

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New York City's homeless population has increased 23 percent in one year, according to a new survey.

On Jan. 30, the Department of Homeless Services and volunteers for the organization counted an estimated 3,262 homeless people living on the streets -- a 23 percent increase from the 2,648 counted in 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Though homeless counts are never thought of as an exact science, Patrick Markee, a senior policy analyst for Coalition for the Homeless, a New York-based nonprofit fighting homelessness, said in a statement Friday that the annual survey "consistently fails" in terms of counting every unsheltered person, the news source reports.

The Coalition for the Homeless estimates that there are currently 41,200 homeless men, women and children sleeping in shelters in New York City, with thousands more sleeping on the streets.

In January the coalition released a report citing the current administration -- specifically that of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- for the record-breaking number of homeless men, women and children. It called the homeless policy shift "disastrous", and foreshadowed another increase in homelessness as "expected in the coming months," the organization said in a statement.

In response, Bloomberg's camp defended the mayor's approach but acknowledged the need for continued action, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Administrative budget cuts also took a toll on New Yorkers enrolled in the Advantage Program, which helped formerly homeless families find and pay for housing.

Officials from both the Bloomberg and Gov. Cuomo administrations have blamed each other for the cuts, which HuffPost blogger David Noriega points out affected 15,000 people enrolled in the program.

"But regardless of the fiscal bickering between the Bloomberg and Cuomo administrations," he wrote in March, "to the roughly 15,000 families currently enrolled in Advantage, the end of the program means a likely return to life in the shelter system or on the streets."

To learn more about fighting homelessness in New York, check out the organizations below:

The Coalition for the Homeless provides housing, job training, emergency food, crisis intervention, and youth programs. Find ways to get involved here.

ACE promotes economic self-sufficiency and help homeless people find employment. Find ways to get involved here.

The Jericho Project combats homelessness through community building and housing options. Find ways to get involved here.

Flickr photo by Adrian Miles ©.

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Street Homeless Numbers Soar Updated April 28, 2012 1:39pm