Mom says she’s stuck in homeless shelter due to delayed paperwork

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Elizabeth Santana, like so many in our city, never thought that she would be homeless living in a shelter with her three children.

But that is her new reality.

What's even more frustrating, she said, is waiting for paperwork to be filed so that she can get out.

"I cry thinking about my children. It's not about me; it's about them," Santana said standing on the sidewalk outside her Brownsville shelter.

Her youngest child , Aisha, is 5 and living with autism. She also has a 6-year-old son, named Amat, who is also living with autism.

She said she was hoping that a mother like herself struggling with two children with autism would get priority and much-needed services for her children. But every step has been a struggle.

"They told me it's being processed. I have been waiting a year, and nothing," Santana said.

The Department of Homeless Services and the Housing Authority released a joint statement to PIX11 News:

"We are working closely with this family to provide services and support to help transition them from shelter to permanent housing. Currently, this family does not meet the eligibility criteria for this particular permanent housing option, but this administration is working to aggressively increase affordable housing options and provide services and supports to homeless New Yorkers."

If you have a story, email Monica Morales at

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