City shelters filling with more homeless children

The Coalition for the Homeless placed these ads.

They’re everywhere — on subway platforms, in phone booths, in elevators and on taxi TV screens: the faces of some of the city’s youngest homeless.

The advertising campaign by the Coalition for the Homeless reveals that about 20,000 children are homeless this year in New York City, up from about 16,000 last year.

And those numbers only include children sleeping in shelters with their families each night.
“If anything, it understates how bad the problem is,” said Patrick Markee at the Coalition for the Homeless.

“It doesn’t include people living in a precarious situation, like doubled-up families or kids sleeping on the couches or floors of friends or relatives,” added Carla Brown, Partnership for the Homeless director.

A Department of Homeless Services source said they do not encounter homeless families on the street.

Markee acknowledged that the economy is partly to blame. But he and other advocates also blame the cessation of a program that helped transition families out of shelters.

In February, the city stopped subsidizing the rent of approximately 7,000 families through Advantage, a rent-subsidy program that provided monthly vouchers for up to two years.

Brown said people are now stuck between a shelter and rents they cannot afford.

“It affects people’s ability to move out of the shelter system,” Brown said. “The hope was that people would get back on track, but there aren’t that many avenues to help a family move out and get into someplace stable.”

Markee said the ads are meant to be “a wake-up call.”

“A combination of factors, including the economy and the loss of Advantage state funding, has led to an increase in the families with children census — but we are actively linking heads of household to employment supports and the services they need to regain self-sufficiency and rejoin communities as quickly as possible,”?DHS spokeswoman Heather Janik said.

A day in the life of a homeless child

Cavita, a domestic violence survivor, lives in a family shelter with her four daughters. They sleep on bunk beds and have a small bathroom and kitchen to themselves.

The kids attend school and do homework at an after-school program until Cavita picks them up after her job caring for the elderly around 6:45 p.m. They have a regular routine like any other family: dinner, shower, bedtime.

But they’ve already had to change schools multiple times with every new move, and chances are they’ll do so again if Cavita can’t find an apartment in the same area.

“They get accustomed to where they are, their friends, their teachers,” Cavita said. “But it’s going to be hard to bring them back and forth on the train every day and get to work too.”

The girls are happy in school, for the most part, she said. But some of the other kids know they live in a shelter and make fun of them.

A classmate teased her daughter, “Look, homegirl right there lives in a shelter.”

“She was crying,” Cavita recounted. “There’s just not anything I can do about the situation right now.”
But she’s been saving money since August and is hopeful they can move soon.

“Once they have their own home, they’ll be OK,” Cavita said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.