‘No Place to Call Home’: How homelessness affects taxpayers [Pt. 2]

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Part 2 of PIX11's revealing week-long series on the new reality of homelessness across our region.

NEW YORK — Stephanie Moore is a wife, mother and homeless.

"It's emotional, disturbing financially, I can't deal with it," Moore said. "It's bad and I don't want to give up on my family."

The physical and psychological toll of navigating a system that landed her family in a Staten Island hotel was also a factor in the move for what was supposed to be a one way trip to Arizona.

Moore is finding out the hard way how New York City's network of privately contracted hotels and apartment buildings, used to temporarily shelter homeless families, are standing in the way of attaining a stable education, permanent housing and not only securing gainful employment but keeping it.

"We're spending more money than we're ever spent," Moore said. "Over $1 billion.  Can you imagine? Over $1 billion."

Raw New York City from the last few years, examined by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, shows a rise of homeless children in city schools.

PS 188 in the Lower East Side has one of the highest percentages in the city at more than 40 percent for the 2013-2014 school year.

These numbers are alarming to Dr. Ralph da Costa Nunez, president and CEO of ICPH.  He first began working on this issue more than thirty years ago, as a member of Mayor Ed Koch's administration.

While da Costa Nunez feels that Mayor Bill de Blasio has indeed made strides, he believes the mayor can clearly do more, at a time when it's needed the most.

"We're spending more money that we've ever spent," da Costa Nunez said. "Over a billion dollars."

In part two of "No Place to Call Home" series, PIX11 reporters Mario Diaz and Jay Dow examine taxpayers’ burden by breaking down the cost of housing families.

It’s a system that houses enough people to fill Yankee Stadium, and still have an overflow crowd of 10,000 more on the concourse.

PIX11 News also details the challenges trying to secure an interview with the Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Service — less than a week after Mayor de Blasio announced greater transparency for his administration.


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