Homeless policy has dogged the last four mayors of New York City. David Dinkins criticized Ed Koch's approach, but Dinkins scaled back his promises once he took office. Rudy Giuliani engaged in a pitched battle with homeless advocates over proposed, draconian shelter policies. Mike Bloomberg targeted a massive reduction in homelessness but the numbers have climbed dramatically during his tenure.
Along with addressing overdue contracts for city workers and figuring out how many billions of dollars worth of shoreline fortifications the city ought to built, the next mayor will have to grapple with nearly 50,000 people in the shelter system.
On June 6, the Supportive Housing Network of New York hosted a conversation (moderated by yours truly) looking ahead to what that next mayor will face and what she or he might do.
It featured senior policy analyst Patrick Markee from the Coalition for the Homeless, HELP USA executive vice president George Nashak and Christy Parque, the executive director of Homeless Services United.
The whole discussion is contained within the following video clips.
What's driving the homeless crisis today?
Is shelter management an issue that the next mayor must grapple with?
What kind of transitional or permanent housing program does New York need?
Has the concern about homelessness penetrated the mayoral campaign?