Friday, September 28, 2012

Homeless Children in New York City

In a disturbing editorial on Wednesday in the New York Times, it stated that "Almost 20,000 children now go to bed every night in New York City's homeless shelters, up from 16,000 last year. If homelessness is hard on adults, for the young, it can be disastrous, starting a slide into a lifetime of poverty." There are many great fundraisers and generous people in the New York area, do they have a charity for homeless children of New York City?  If not, they should.  Mayor Bloomberg is very charitable, he should start a charity like that, if one doesn't exist.
The editorial claims that Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo could do more to help the homeless. Apparently, Mayor Bloomberg "promised that he would cut the city's homeless population of 33,000 by two-thirds but that didn't happen....." Politicians have to do more, there is no question about it. There are many problems associated with this critical social justice issue.  The economy has deteriorated and rents have gone sky high in New York City. I have a friend who is a Catholic nun.  She lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her friends, from her neighborhood and those she ministers to can't find affordable housing. It's a real problem and government as well as churches and religious organizations will have to step up and help find solutions to this growing crisis.
It's wonderful that New York City has become such a hip place and a safe city and young people from all over the world want to work and live here and that's good for New York.  But there are some negative consequences to that.   Young people are willing to pay high rents to live in NYC and many can afford to do so. Affordable housing is what's needed so that people from all walks of life can live and work in NYC, it is what always made New York interesting and diverse. New York City needs cultural diversity and a stable middle class as well as compassion towards the poor here.  The city should set the standard for all cities. The rich and those who are successful, should help the poor survive and make it, even in this lousy global economy. Real solutions that work are needed to get these children out of shelters and into a place they can call home.

Whatever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do for me!  (Matthew 25:40)