In New York City, during working hours, homelessness is there for all to see. An estimated 58,000 people forage for help and survival by day, then retreat to shelters at night. Now comes startling news of federal budget cuts that could mean the loss of 500 shelter beds operated by a dozen or so organizations and a consequent increase in needy people left to wander and sleep on the streets.
Grants from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development have provided crucial financial support for city shelters for years. But HUD officials have shifted priorities to favor permanent housing facilities as a more productive response to homelessness than transitional shelters. A HUD official says permanent housing “has demonstrably better outcomes at a lower cost.”
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