Plan Calls for Longer Shelter Stays

A new report on homelessness in New York calls for some shelter residents to be housed for a year to 18 months, so they can get the time and resources needed to become self-sufficient.

The plan, by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, says the current shelter system works fairly well for the roughly 50 percent of homeless families who need help only because of a temporary financial emergency.

But the rest of the homeless population, the report says, needs more help. Some 35 percent require a longer housing stay.

Others, about 15 percent of the population, leave the shelter system only to return because they face deeper problems like a lack of education or job training, domestic violence, involvement with the child welfare system and health issues, both mental and physical.

The plan calls for creating a new Tier III shelter option (Tier I refers to emergency, short-term shelter and Tier II to medium-term temporary housing, both of which are offered under the current system) that would combine stable housing with services.

Read the report here.