Friday, December 26, 2008
Homelessness Topic On Paltalk
As the economy continues to wane, the problem of homelessness increases.
Here in New York City, 35,000 people are in homeless shelters.
In California, people who have lost their homes are living in RVs on city streets in increasing numbers as well.
Using New York City's own records, a report by the Coalition for the Homeless says the number of homeless families in the Big Apple using city shelters is at an all-time high. That's families, not individuals. Women. Children.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has bristled at the report, spitting out the term "advocates" when referring to the coalition, sort of the way Republicans spit out the term "community organizer" as derisive when, during the presidential campaign, they talked about Barack Obama's background.
Bloomberg says things are much better in New York, that there aren't homeless people "sleeping on park benches" any longer.
No Mr. Mayor. It's been below freezing in New York City. They aren't on park benches. But you can still find them in train stations and on subways, making the cars their mobile homes, trying to keep warm. Many of them are unwashed and smelly. I've recently ridden two subways, the shuttle between Times Square and Grand Central Station and the 2&3 line down Broadway and have had to, along with my fellow passengers, abandon cars because of the stench.
I know the mayor rides the subway to work everyday, but perhaps he's missed this phenomenon.
The point is, instead of disputing his own figures, he should be addressing the problem. After all, it's not his fault people are homeless. It's a result of the economy and other factors beyond his control. But denying there is an issue, and attacking the bearer of the news, especially when the figures that are being used are the city's own, isn't what is expected of the mayor of the nation's largest city.
Joining us on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com on Monday December 29 at 5 PM New York time to talk about homelessness in New York, and, by extension, elsewhere, will be Coalition for the Homeless community organizer Lindsey Davis. CLICK HERE to join in the conversation.
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