Where Do the Homeless Come From?

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There are a lot of stunning numbers about the city’s homelessness problem—starting with the fact that as of last Wednesday the city’s shelter system housed 57,000 people—but here’s one to chew on: In fiscal year 2014, for everyone homeless family that came from Greenwich Village, 94 came from East New York.

That’s according to a report out today from the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness called “On the Map: The Atlas of Family Homelessness in New York City.”

It’s easy to think of homelessness as a direct consequence of gentrification, but ICPH’s data suggests it’s more complicated than that.

Of the 10 neighborhoods that produced the most homeless families last year, only one—Bedford Stuyvesant—is one commonly thought of as seeing gentrification. The others—Williamsbridge, Morrisania, East Tremont, Mott Haven, Unionport/Soundview, Concourse/Highbridge and University Heights in the Bronx and Brownsville along with East New York in Brooklyn—are not seeing luxury development yet.

What they might be seeing is the ripple effect from displacement in other neighborhoods, or evictions by landlords clearing the way for the expected higher-income renters, or the inevitable effect of stagnant wages in low-end jobs.

Check out the report here, or get a data dossier on your own Council district here.

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