Write 11 pages thesis on the topic the homeless policy in new york city. In addition, the viability of community policing as an efficient strategy in augmenting the policy will be addressed from a social and historical perspective.
a. A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill).
As a general overview, homelessness is on the rise all over the country. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in as study spanning 24 major cities , the demand for different forms of emergency shelter “had increased by 13% in 2001, and had swelled to 25% in 2005.. All in all, 71% of the cities registered an increase from the previous year.” (Mayors, 2005) Aside from that, people were homeless for an average of seven months, a very disturbing figure which only continues to grow annually.
In New York, Port Authority had banned panhandling in PATH subway stations and bus terminals nearly two decades ago, and this was a ruling that has been repeatedly been upheld by the Supreme Court. With dwindling funding and inadequate support from the local government, the common perception is that these big cities have turned their backs on the homeless. It is a pressing problem that is constantly looking us in the eye, and yet is continually ignored.
Historically, homelessness started its rapid rise in the 1980’s, when the Reagan administration cut public funding for low-cost housing in half. To further illustrate this, “between 1980 and 1989 the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget was slashed from $74 billion to $19 billion”. (Dreier, 2004) This resulted in an a shortfall in the availability of low-cost housing, just as the population in the concerned areas was increasing. It is widely believed that a lot of those displaced by these measures ended up in the streets, resulting in an exponential jump in the national homeless numbers. Coupled with the deinstitutionalization of mental hospitals which also displaced a lot of mentally ill patients, the city was being faced with a chronic and nagging problem that was turning critical by the day.
New York was at the center of this social unrest in 1988, “when a riot erupted in Tompkins Square Park as police forcibly attempted to enforce a freshly-signed curfew on the park”(Purdum, 1988) This curfew was widely viewed as a thinly veiled attempt to evict the homeless residing in the park., and it quickly turned into a human rights snafu as numerous innocent bystanders were caught up in the fracas.