By Alice Kenny
The homeless population increased by 13% in New York City at the beginning of this year, reports this recent article in The New York Times.
The shelter population reached levels not seen since the Depression era; a record 64,060 homeless people were counted on the street and in shelters this past winter according to an annual survey by HUD.
Nearly a quarter of all homeless people – 23% – are under 18.
A rise in families who could no longer pay their rent — a problem that is more acute in areas where affordable housing is scarce and rents are especially high – has driven the increase, according to federal officials. The group of very poor renters who pay more than half their income in rent and are struggling to hold onto their homes has grown by 43% nationwide since 2007, housing officials added.
If you are facing homelessness and need help, please call us at Catholic Charities. We support a vast network of emergency shelters, temporary and transitional housing and permanent affordable housing to help homeless families and individuals.
Families and individuals who, for whatever reason, are facing the loss of a home or apartment are assisted by highly trained Catholic Charities caseworkers to prevent eviction and homelessness. Staff will assess the situation and create a comprehensive plan to respond to the immediate emergency and help avoid future crisis. Caseworkers will work with landlords, legal services, and financial management programs to help access rent subsidies and other government programs to assist families and individuals relocate to a new home.
Parishes and other community organizations provide temporary shelter and respite for people living on the street. Operated mainly by volunteers, Catholic Charities provides assistance to these shelters and can help those in need access their services.
Temporary and Transitional Residences
Transitional, supported housing is an important component to the network of housing resources provided by Catholic Charities. Dedicated religious women have often taken the lead in developing and operating these housing programs. Some residences are specifically designed to serve the needs of women and their children, while others are available to the general population. Most offer a variety of services to assist the homeless in moving towards permanent housing and independence.
Permanent Affordable Housing
Affordable housing developed by Catholic Charities and other parish’s decades ago remain a precious, yet precarious resource. Catholic Charities has worked to make the Association of Catholic Homes an important vehicle not only for preserving existing housing but also for developing new affordable housing in the Archdiocese. All of these housing units have specific eligibility criteria, and many have significant waiting lists.
Catholic Charities Is Here to Help.
- Click here for assistance finding the services you need
- Call the Catholic Charities Help Line at 888-744-7900.