iOS app Android app

Ralph da Costa Nunez, PhD
GET UPDATES FROM Ralph da Costa Nunez, PhD
 
Dr. Nunez has served as President of the Institute For Children, Poverty & Homelessness since the organization's founding in 1990 and also is President and CEO of Homes for the Homeless, a leading social services agency. Prior to ICPH, he worked in New York City and State government. He has also held a faculty position at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs for the past 30 years. Dr. Nunez holds a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University.

Entries by Ralph da Costa Nunez, PhD

Reject the Status Quo to Break the Cycle of Homelessness

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 11:46 AM

New York City faces a persistent conundrum: How can the city help homeless families out of shelters and into secure, stable housing -- and prevent their return to the shelter system?

Put bluntly, how can New York do what is both morally and fiscally right, and break the toxic...

Read Post

When It Comes to Homeless Students, Should the Sky Be the Limit?

(3) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 12:00 PM

The recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education on the increase in the number of homeless students in the United States are sad, but not surprising. Family homelessness has been climbing steadily for decades. School Year (SY) 2012-13 saw 1.3 million homeless students. That is an...

Read Post

Two Cities, Two Students: One Future?

(1) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 12:01 PM

New York City has many tales to tell. One is familiar -- Mayor de Blasio's "Tale of Two Cities" --but the other is not: the Tale of Two Students, the housed and the homeless. In a city of have-a-lots and have-nots, what does it mean when some students have homes...

Read Post

Failure at the Finish Line: How the Bloomberg Administration Increased Family Homelessness

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 4:32 PM

As the Bloomberg administration comes to an end, it leaves behind a disappointing legacy in the area of family homelessness. When Bloomberg came into office there were almost 7,000 families and over 13,000 children living in New York City's homeless shelters. As he leaves, 12 years later, there...

Read Post

When the Right to Shelter Isn't Quite Right

(2) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 2:42 PM

Today there are nearly 49,000 homeless people in NYC, including almost 12,000 families and 21,000 children. Those who oppose any change to the city's "right-to-shelter" policy argue that it must stay in place to protect our most vulnerable population. Others (some of whom are candidates for mayor this...

Read Post

The Story of the Low-income Housing Shortage in America

(16) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 5:20 PM

The last time the number of low-income rental units exceeded the number of low-income renters was 1970 (see chart, below). A recent brief by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, "A Home by Any Other Name: Enhancing Shelters Address the Gap in Low-income Housing," reports that by...

Read Post

A Fair and Practical Right to Shelter

(4) Comments | Posted August 22, 2012 | 12:58 PM

It has been almost 30 years since New York City established the right to shelter for homeless families. While this right was decreed to guarantee that no New York City family would be left to fend for themselves on the street, it has now become a national and, in some...

Read Post

America's Contemporary Depression

(87) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 11:51 AM

Indisputably, the American economy is ailing and its citizens are suffering. Beginning with the 2007 recession, most Americans have become increasingly familiar with financial uncertainty, disappointment, and frustration while politicians of both parties have grown adept at packaging blame into sound bites. All but a few insiders and pundits are...

Read Post

Pittsburgh: A Model for Addressing Child Homelessness

(1) Comments | Posted May 15, 2012 | 1:06 PM

I recently returned from Pittsburgh, where on Friday, May 4, I keynoted the Homeless Children's Education Fund's "Summit III: Impact of Poverty on Learning & Brain Development for Children & Youth Experiencing Homelessness."

HCEF brought together individuals on the front lines at shelters and school systems, those...

Read Post

Homelessness a Racial Matter: Why Are Black Families Over-represented in Homeless Shelters?

(1) Comments | Posted March 14, 2012 | 6:23 PM

When U.S. attorney general Eric Holder described the United States as a "nation of cowards" when it comes to openly discussing race, he was lambasted. But he was absolutely right. And one area where race has long been an issue spoken about in hushed tones is the...

Read Post

Notched-down Generation

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2012 | 4:26 PM

At a time when nearly 50 percent of Americans are either low-income or poor, members of the middle class are at risk of joining their ranks. The gradual erosion of household incomes, and decreased quality of life that many Americans have been experiencing over the past few decades,...

Read Post

As America Honors Its Heroes, We Can Do More for Homeless Women Veterans

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 6:12 PM

On this Veterans Day, as we take pause to remember the veterans who so bravely served our country it's imperative that we not overlook homeless women veterans and their families.

While women represented only 8 percent of all sheltered homeless veterans in 2010, that statistic masks the...

Read Post

For Homeless Students, Transitional Shelters Must Be Used as a Tool, Not a Roadblock

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 6:58 PM

Homeless families currently spend an average of 11 months in New York City's transitional shelters, longer than the length of a school year. This is time they will never get back. But in part because of bureaucratic roadblocks, New York City has not been able to fulfill its...

Read Post

Does 'Housing First' Put Families Last?

(3) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 10:58 PM

Six months have passed since New York City's Department of Homeless Services (DHS) discontinued Advantage, a rental subsidy program designed to move homeless families out of shelters and into market-rate apartments. Since that time, the number of homeless families placed in permanent housing has decreased, and the average...

Read Post

How a GED Is a Real Advantage in Reducing Family Homelessness in NYC

(11) Comments | Posted March 19, 2011 | 5:09 PM

New York City's Department of Homeless Services' Advantage program aims to assist families in making a permanent transition from shelter to self-sufficiency by providing a rent subsidy for one to two years once they leave shelter. To maintain their eligibility, Advantage program participants are required to work at least part...

Read Post

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like A Christmas Carol

(2) Comments | Posted December 16, 2010 | 12:00 PM

Welfare as we knew it was dead. That must be distinctly understood or nothing good can come of the story I am going to relate. The register of its burial was signed by elected officials and witnessed by its chief mourner: a senator from New York. Such was the case...

Read Post

One Size Does Not Fit All: Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Families

(6) Comments | Posted July 16, 2010 | 3:12 PM

Over the last two decades, rapid rehousing strategies have grown to become the dominant trend among the homeless policy and services community. Yet New York City is emerging as an example of how a narrow focus on housing can have serious unintended consequences for so many homeless families. A June...

Read Post