Record Number of New York City Children Face Homelessness

By Julianne Hing Mar 20, 2015

In 2014 New York City broke troubling records with its homeless population. Last year, on a typical night some 25,459 children stayed in city homeless shelters, a 12 percent jump over the prior year, according to Coalition for the Homeless’ State of the Homeless 2015 report.

The city broke records with its the broader homeless population, as well. In 2014, a record 116,459 people stayed a night in a city shelter, a five percent increase from the previous year. 

ChartA_Pg24.jpg(image via Coalition for the Homeless)

And while 2.3 percent (or 1 in 43) of the city’s children had to spend a night in a city shelter, 6 percent (or 1 in 17) black children were forced to do so last year. Meanwhile 2.9 percent, or 1 in 34, Latino children spent a night in a shelter. Black families were more than twice as likely as New York City families broadly to have to take shelter in city facilities, while white families were much less likely than the city population as a whole to have to turn to shelters.

The coalition attributes these jumps to preexisting racial inequity that’s been compounded by worsening economic inequity, alongside policy decisions made by the Bloomberg administration to slash programs that supported the homeless.