An inaugural city report groups together shelter headcounts from five municipal systems, revealing a truer—and larger—picture of the homelessness crisis than the often-cited Department of Homeless Services count.
Since Jan. 1, City Limits has been publishing more accurate homeless shelter census figures after a Council bill to force the city to publish a true number failed last year. The total commonly cited by city officials excludes thousands of people staying in shelters run by agencies other than the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), failing to count more than 15 percent of the actual population.
How many people spend each night in a New York City homeless shelter? It seems like a simple question, but getting the answer is pretty complicated. So this year, City Limits will provide a daily total using the most complete information available.