Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, political upheavals and wars forced countless individuals to seek refuge in unknown lands. For many, New York emerged as the beacon of hope where desires for a better life became tangible, at least in the collective fantasy. However, this brilliance has its shadow, as New York today houses a number of homeless people that exceeds even the challenges of the Great Depression in 1930. The reality of the Big Apple often turns out to be more complex than expected. which might suggest his eternal myth.
The number of homeless people living in New York is a historic figure
The large number of immigrants and political asylum seekers seem to be the reason for this crisis. To the point that the city’s mayor, Eric Adams, said that “this problem will destroy the city.”
The truth is that, according to experts and New York officials, this week the city reached a regrettable record. It is the first time in history that there were more than 100,000 homeless people, which is why the capacity of shelters and refuges is exceeded. According to data provided by the Coalition for the Homeless, the number exceeds 110 thousand people. Although these data do not include those who literally sleep on the streets of the city and who number in the thousands.
In recent times, and to make the situation worse, more and more people are requesting asylum. Eric Adams explained that, given this situation, the city is running out of resources, both economic and space. More than 10,000 immigrants arrive in New York every month, triggering a crisis in the city. Currently, one in every 80 people who live in the city has no place to live.
It should be noted that the situation of the homeless is a problem that has been going on for many decades and is experienced throughout the world, and it is also becoming increasingly worse.
A problem with solutions that are not sufficient
Given this situation, the city invested 1.2 billion this year in housing for immigrants and next year it plans to invest 4 billion more. Faced with the crisis, they think of desperate measures as a solution, such as installing tents in Central Park.
The majority of immigrants are of Latin American origin, coming from countries in crisis such as Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. They request asylum because they do not have work permits and, therefore, cannot cover their basic needs.
However, city authorities often hide some worrying data while trying to blame immigrants for the crisis. Many of the homeless are older people, primarily from the baby boomer generation. Aging in the United States can be problematic if you are not in a good financial situation. Older people live on social security and cannot afford the high cost of housing. This is why they are evicted and remain living on the streets.
City University professor Philip Yanos explains that the high costs of housing in New York is one of the important points causing the crisis. In fact, these costs are the main factor in a family becoming homeless.