In view of the needs of the homeless in our city, we must recognize those less fortunate in our midst and encourage community leaders to engage in a process that will provide more affordable housing with proper supports for families.
Currently, there are 54,000 individuals living daily in 250 shelters across the five boroughs. Nearly half – 23,000 – are children. Of the total, one-third of those individuals work full-time, but lack sufficient income for housing independence.
The city is providing, by law, emergency homeless shelters for these individuals as a temporary solution to an immediate crisis. This crisis gives us an opportunity to recognize a problem in our midst and to encourage the city to engage in a process that will provide more affordable housing with proper support for families. It is also an opportunity to advocate for additional government initiatives that prevent homelessness through rent subsidies.
As Catholics who embrace the virtue of compassion, I invite you to pray for these homeless individuals and families and for those who work to create affordable housing units. The city is suggesting that we write our community boards and our local newspapers asking for compassion for those who have been displaced.
To locate your local community board, go to nyc.gov/cau