MIDTOWN (PIX11) — In the heart of midtown Manhattan, Grand Central Terminal is always bustling with large crowds. It’s considered to be the largest train station in the world with more than 20 million visitors passing through every year, but it also attracts a sight many may not consider to be the most attractive and that’s the city’s homeless population.
If you’ve walked around New York City recently, you’ve probably noticed an increase in the the number of homeless people and you’re not imagining according to the Coalition for the Homeless. The group has acted as advocates for the past 30 years and say the numbers don’t lie.
“The national numbers have not shot up the way they have in New York. They’ve jumped 18 percent in one year,” said President of the Coalition, Mary Brosnahan.
Statistics show in the past decade, the numbers have risen by more than fifty percent. While there have been some ebbs and flows, the coalition has found a spike from 2011 to October 2012.
Even more alarming is the rise of families utilizing the city’s shelter system. One of the reasons groups like the Coalition have cited is due to Mayor Michael Bloomberg eliminating certain central housing resources responsible for moving families out of the system.
“I think the mayor has to reckon with what he has created here in New York. Koch, Dinkins, Guiliani, all of those predecessors, have used federal housing resources to efficiently move these famiilies out of the system, but when Bloomberg did an about face and more recently terminated the local program, there’s no way for these families to get out where are they going to go to,” said Brosnahan.
PIX11 reached out to The Department of Homelessness Services for comment on this story, but our calls were not returned.