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City Plans to Open 5 New Homeless Shelters By End of Year

The city has opened 15 new shelters since May, in an effort to keep up with rising homeless numbers.

The city plans to open at least five new shelters by the end of this year to combat rising homeless numbers, bringing the total shelters opened since May to 15, says the Wall Street Journal.

Officials said Tuesday that three family shelters, with 169 apartment-style units, and two shelters for single adults with another 234 beds, will open in the next few months.

Two shelters will be in the Bronx, while one each will be located in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, says the paper.

Recent numbers put the citywide shelter population at 46,036, with a 29% increase since spring 2011. The city has the highest shelter occupancy record in history, according to data released in August.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services said the opening of shelters was based on demand, but could not comment to the paper on whether the number of shelters opening was significant.

At Tuesday’s City Council hearing, council members blasted the Bloomberg administration for failing to respond to the city’s homelessness crisis. 

Council Member Stephen Levin, D-Brooklyn, said that New York City’s homeless problem is getting worse, and that “unless there is a significant change in policy, those trends will continue to get worse.”

"There was nothing new offered to confront a big crisis," Council Member Brad Lander, D-Brooklyn, told the paper.

In fact, back in August, Bloomberg said that New York City’s shelters for homeless people were “ which he said was the cause of high occupancy rates.

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