In January, the New York City’s homeless population exceeded 50,000, the highest number since the Great Depression.
Kim Velsey, New York Observer senior editor, talked about the growing number of homeless families that made up most of the city’s shelter population. She was joined by joined by Anne Pierre, a homeless mother Velsey wrote about in her article “The Return of Hooverville,” in the April 29 New York Observer.
We encourage you to listen to this interview as well as read the article.
The article begins by describing the re-entry to homelessness of Anne Pierre as has implications for NJ.
By the time Anne Pierre and her sons arrived at 199 Amboy Street, it was after midnight. The heat of the unusually warm April day had all but drained away, but there was a mellowness to the air, a contrast to the sharp, cold spring nights that had come before. From the outside, the red-brick building looked clean and well-maintained, though the darkness made it difficult to tell for sure. In Ms. Pierre’s experience, the exteriors of homeless shelters were poor predictors of conditions inside.
Late though it was, the family’s arrival at the Brownsville shelter marked the somewhat triumphant culmination of a bureaucratic odyssey that had started two days earlier, when Ms. Pierre had reapplied for shelter at the family intake center in the Bronx. It was only somewhat triumphant in that 199 Amboy was just a 10-day placement, the latest in a string of temporary housing assignments that had become the norm since the family lost its eligibility for shelter in February. But as it turned out, 199 Amboy was the nicest place Ms. Pierre and the two boys stayed since entering the shelter system in June 2012.
As 9-year-old Jordan described their arrival, “When we saw it, we was shocked. It was nice. It was decent.”