End of Osama
Nearly ten years after the destruction of 9/11 and the suffering experienced by so many families in NYC, Osama Bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan. We congratulate the President, CIA, and the US military on this accomplishment. We also know that it is time for our fellow New Yorkers to be ultra-vigilant; terrorists may seize this moment to attack New York in retaliation for the US success in this mission.
New York City's homeless numbers are at record levels, but, in Upper Manhattan, the transition from homelessness into a permanent home is supported by an award winning transitional housing facility - Abyssinian House.
Record Levels of Homelessness in NYC
The number of homeless individuals in New York City is the highest it has ever been. More than 40,000 people in New York City go to sleep at night without a home, and approximately 40% of those homeless people are children. In 2010, more than 113,000 people slept in homeless shelters in New York City, and nearly 40% of that 113,000 were children as well. Many more homeless individuals live on New York City streets and are not included in the numbers mentioned above. During the term of the current New York City Mayor, the homeless population has nearly doubled, and it continues to rise.
Homelessness is largely an economic problem. Homelessness amongst families in our city is most commonly caused by a lack of affordable housing and triggered by evictions and severe overcrowding as well as by domestic violence and dangerous living conditions.
Those in homeless shelters are overwhelmingly people of color. Only seven percent of the individuals served by our city's homeless shelters are not people of color. More than 90% of homeless individuals in our city whose race and/or ethnicity is known are Black or Hispanic.
Of those living on the streets of our city and outside of the homeless shelter system:
1) 8o% are men
2) 60% live in Manhattan
3) most suffer from mental illness
Therefore, those of us who are people of color living in Manhattan can take a special interest in the homeless population on the streets of our city while we understand that the homeless population is largely made up of families with children who are not on the streets and who are not as visible behind the walls of shelters.
Abyssinian House Shines
Founded in 1992, Abyssinian House is a transitional living facility that moves families out of homelessness and into homes. The facility has 25 units and is located on 138th Street in Central Harlem. Since its founding, Abyssinian House has moved nearly 700 families out of homelessness, helped more than 1,300 homeless families find help, and enrolled 100 homeless children in Head Start programs led by the organization that leads Abyssinian House, the Abyssinian Development Corporation.
Abyssinian House has been recognized as representing the best of the transitional housing operations and leads the way in New York City by providing the families it serves with the services and support to help them overcome homelessness and place themselves on a path to stable housing and better lives. Abyssinian House was named as one of the best 20 shelters in New York City and was one of only 15 shelters selected to collaborate with the Department of Homeless Services to improve school attendance for homeless youth across our city.
Moving forward, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's funding support will enable Abyssinian House to upgrade its physical facilities, improve the energy efficiency of those facilities, and make the experience of living at Abyssinian House even more pleasant for future residents in transition.
In Manhattan, we have the majority of the individuals in our city's homeless population who live on the streets, and we are enduring record homelessness numbers. But, we also have Abyssinian House to show our city how to combat homelessness with support and services that change the lives of our city's families.