How will the Trump administration affect cities’ social services?

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NEW YORK -- As President-Elect Donald Trump prepares for his ascension to the White House, there are questions about how federal funds for social services will trickle down to local cities, and our streets, to the under-employed, under-privileged, and homeless who have always needed the most help.

“I’m 41 years old. I’ve been living right here, for a year and a half,” said one homeless woman we met in midtown Manhattan.

During his time on the campaign trail, President-Elect Trump failed to offer detailed plans on how he would address federal funding for affordable housing, or the homeless crisis.

But we do know Trump has been crystal clear about his desire to repeal Obamacare, and ultimately shrink the size of the federal government.

To be clear, eliminating Obamacare, or scaling back any federal program is a process that would likely not happen immediately.

"I think a Trump administration has the potential to impact millions of our citizens, especially here in New York," one Queens resident said. "Especially people that are poor. People who have been on welfare, like my mother, who climbed out of welfare.”

Eric Tars, of the Washington D.C. based National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, says this debate could come down to how federal social service subsidies will be handled by Trump and Republican lawmakers, who will control both houses of Congress.

“When you look at the data, we win on the data, we win on the fiscal argument that housing is more effective than other ways of dealing with homelessness. But you have to get over that hurdle, of people saying, well I don’t want to give a free handout to somebody who doesn’t deserve it,” said Eric Tars of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

Figuring out how a Trump administration will handle federally subsidized social services may depend on what version of Donald Trump you believe will take the oath in January.

Will it be the Trump who spoke about unity during a conciliatory acceptance speech or the polarizing Donald Trump we saw on the campaign trail?

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