NYC Needs More Homeless Shelters ASAP

A teenager who collects bottles and cans and lives in a city shelter walks near Times Square on April 14, 2011 in New York City.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Bloomberg administration announced a plan yesterday to open five new homeless shelters by the end of the year in hopes of accommodating what The Wall Street Journal calls a “substantial increase” of those in need. The city’s shelter population is currently estimated at more than 46,000, including nearly 20,000 children, a 29 percent jump since spring of last year. Families have also been staying 30 percent longer, something Mayor Bloomberg dubiously owed last month to the “pleasurable experience” of staying in the city’s upgraded system. He’s also put some blame on that pesky economy, but as a Times editorial argues today, “he and the governor have eliminated important programs that helped shift people out of shelters. It is time to restore the cuts and reinstate those programs.”