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Homeless Children in NYC Nears Great Depression Levels

Photo; Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesNineteen thousand homeless children are currently seeking help in New York City shelters, according to new data from the city. For comparison, 20,000 children were homeless in The Big Apple during the Great Depression.

The Daily News story profiles 14-year-old Francheska Luciano who spends her nights in one of the city's shelters. She said it's "like living in hell."

Luciano, who lives in a shelter with her family, said it's particularly difficult for her younger siblings.

"They’re young, they have no childhood, they don’t sleep well," she said. "It's not fair to them."

The number of homeless children in New York has grown 18 percent in the past year (view the city's report here).

"Not since the grim days of the Great Depression has New York City had 20,000 children sleeping homeless each night," said Patrick Markee, a senior policy analyst with the Coalition for the Homeless.

The coalition said that with "no housing assistance in place to help families move out of shelter and into permanent housing, the city is on track to reach the unthinkable milestone of 20,000 homeless kids before year's end."

"Study after study show children who become homeless do worse in school as well as suffer in their physical and mental health development," a statement from the coalition reads.

There are currently 1.6 million homeless children living in the United States.

Tell us on Facebook: What would you propose as a solution to this problem?

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Oct 4, 2012 2:16PM

One of the greatest problems is that people are having kids that they cannot support. Anyone can have sex and produce a child. It takes a real parent to provide for and take care of their children. If you are not financially secure DO NOT HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX! Those that are "baby factories" are making life CHEAP! Alot of unwanted and unloved children look to gangs to get the sense of family and belonging they are missing. Its no wonder why they have not problem killing eachother in gang fights. THey see lives as being cheap, babies are easily made.


My solution would be is to sterilize everyone at puberty. Reverse the sterilization when they prove they are financially stable and mentally capable of raising a child. The cost of sterilization and unsterilization would be far less than providing for children on welfare. And most important each child born would be wanted and cared for, not thrown in dumpsters or aborted like today.



Sep 28, 2012 2:24PM


are these people's lives better since OB  I don't think so.  And I'll bet a bunch of them would vote for him if they vote!!!


There may be a few people  out there that are mentally ill.  The rest made bad decisions. Some of them found themselves in a pickle and may have leaned on relatives but that lasts only so long.  As a young divorced mother of 3 kids, a high school education, and living on the state, I was thoroughly ashamed.  I looked around at other people and decided I would get out and move up. It was rough, but I found a great man to take care of us and I started going to college.  Today I have a Masters degree, a beautiful home and a loving 35yr marriage. Make a plan and follow it.  Like Tracy Chapman says, "If ya got no plans ya ain't going no where."  This great country enables you to follow your dream.  People from other countries see it.  Why don't we?

Sep 12, 2012 4:09PM
It's unreal but I know all states have this problem, I don't even think relocating the families would even help but getting the wealthy peolpe to help by donating could easy some of the problems they are having. The bottom line is nobody care enough to wanna help.
Sep 12, 2012 6:56AM
...For starters, one Abrams M1A2 tank costs approx. 6.2 million dollars. The costs and contracts for the upgrades for all the M1A1 and `newer' systems add up as well. And this is just the cost of the steel box; tanks are cheaper than jets.  Regerettably, Americans now have the opporutnity to view the circumstances of the countless millions of homeless parents and children living in the major metorpolitan cities all over the world except now `US' Americans do not have to buy a travel ticket to visit the 3rd World, we now live in it as well.
Sep 11, 2012 11:49PM
Dont vote for a black President-Vote for  real President-write in Colin Powell and Condaleeza rice-that is a ticket worth voting for!!!!!!
Sep 11, 2012 11:46PM

20,000 homeless kids in NYC??? Is this the change Obama promised us four years ago-maybe he meant change for the worst-why he is running for re-election is ridiculous-David Dinkins could do a better job!!!! I can not believe our choices are Obama and Mitt Romney...is this really the best America has to offer???? Its a shame Charlie Crist keeps switching political parties and is gay-he did a good job in Florida for awhile under difficult circumstances. Colin Powell and Condaleeza Rice for V.P.-thats a ticket!!!!!

Sep 11, 2012 11:41PM

Supposedly sad - yes - but why do these parents (they keep having chldren!) always seem to blame someone else? I just don't get it. First, when you find yourself in financial trouble you are saddened, then progress to anger… then you get so pissed you do something about it! That's how it's done. I did that after not finding a job for 5 freaking years. Yes 5 yrs... and I was single! I am struggling too with dependants but I have never once looked up to anyone - or the so-called system; I just think ahead and sacrifice.

I have never had my nails done and I am over 40 - and I have a masters degree from a private U (paid by me, not some parent) but I don't remember the last time I went to the hair dresser. I don't look ugly. I have to think of needs first and strategize life,,, just in case. So, I know what it FEELS like not to have and yet hold my head up.  So... I have no mercy left for some of these homeless people and that's not because I am evil. Actually, it is because I have been very good to people and have come to learn that some of these people are just not motivated to do anything in life.

Listen, after sharing (she had one floor) the house I recently bought with a woman (I was warned, but I wanted to help someone up") with children who was having problems and went on "the system", she turned around and called me a "rich bitch" just because I chose to pay mortgage instead of rent. How can they understand that paying mortgage is the same as rent! She bled me for 11 months without rent payment @ 1,500/month (and so my 4 year old secretly lived on milk and corn) while she went around telling people that she won the case (because she had the systems attorneys on her side because of her child as the bargaining power and I, sadly, couldn’t afford an attorney.

To see my 4 year old hungry because this woman chose to wear Gucci and yet not pay rent and be rewarded financially by my tax dollars made me really angry. During the time, I was forced to pull her out of private school into public just to accommodate this woman. SHE changed my life and stole my sacrifice. Thinking of it makes me cry. When she left you wouldn't the stuff she left behind and you wouldn't believe what was in her fridge -- top of the line wine and what she ate... at the mercy of my tax dollar in form of food stamps! I have never been able to afford any of the foods she had in her fridge. (i don't even remember the last time I had shrimps) None... and yet she IS supposed to be poor? Her hair is up and done... every week and so were her nails and that of her 10 year old.

She worked under the table and got $$ from welfare as well -- while milking me to poverty after all the sacrifices I had made in life. Gosh, what is this country coming to? At this point, I have very little mercy  for any homeless person. My tenant is now homeless (trust me, by choice) -- so I keep wondering what happened to all the money she was making under the table tax-free while she was collecting free rent, free food and free pocket money. (They give her extra $400 cash per month in addition to all that!) Heavens! God is not crippled, you know. She thinks she is robbing us all but these people don't realize that they are teaching their children the art of poverty. For this one, her children's children will always be begging their life time. Her son is already in prison at age 17, so that's history in scripts.

We can all be homeless or mercilessly rich -- that's the bargain of being American -- and so good luck to those who are homeless but pity and mercy are feelings that won't come from me to most in that condition.  I learned the hard way,  I am still paying for being a person who wanted to “pull someone up”.  

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