NY Mayor Vows To Give 7,000 Homeless Families Permanent Shelter

05/08/2015 12:23 pm ET | Updated May 11, 2015
EMMANUEL DUNAND via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's new budget allocates $100 million toward fighting homelessness in America's most populous city, The New York Times reported.

Officials announced the commitment -- which includes rental assistance that'll move more than 7,000 homeless New York families into stable housing, according to WNYC News -- on Wednesday.

Funding will also go toward anti-eviction legal services, expansion of shelter beds for homeless youth and boosting resources for mental health services.

The commitment is part of a fiscal year 2016 budget totaling $78.3 billion.

Curbing the crisis has become a priority for de Blasio, as the Big Apple grapples with record-high levels of homelessness. According to city records, there were 59,068 people living in shelters in December, the New York Daily News reported.

De Blasio has made efforts to provide affordable housing to more New Yorkers, including a move to create 200,000 such units throughout the five boroughs in the next decade.

"Affordable housing is part of the bedrock of what makes New York City work," the mayor points out in his plan of action. "It’s what underpins the economically diverse neighborhoods New Yorkers want to live in. It’s critical to providing financial stability for working families, helping them get ahead and build a better life."

To his credit, de Blasio inherited a dire situation, advocates have pointed out: Homelessness grew by 71 percent under his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. But the problem has worsened on de Blasio's watch, too.

New figures released on Thursday by the city's Department of Homeless Services, however, provide an optimistic take on the situation.

The city's latest annual count of unsheltered individuals -- those outside the shelter system who stay in public spaces -- found an overall 5 percent reduction in such residents, including a 92 percent drop in the borough of Queens alone.

To help fight homelessness, support PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) by using the Crowdrise widget below.

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