We’ve been hit with two incredibly significant statistics of Gotham income’s reality over the past few months. First, the homelessness levels in this city right now are that of the Great Depression. And second, half of New Yorkers live in or near poverty. Now that we’re settled into the situation here, let us move on.
City statistics show that the rate of homeless people sleeping on the subways rose by 13 percent this year – a steady increase underground that has unfortunately gone on for some time now. In 2005, the approximation was around 845; eight years later, that number is around 1,850. Above ground, the homeless population sleeping on the streets dropped by a mere 2 percent.
The shift has some reasoning to it. The subways are warm, they can bring you anywhere and a ride (for as long as you want, we suppose) only costs $2.50. It’s less sensical to sleep aboveground, where it can be colder at nights and constantly loud. And, on the subway, at least you have a proper seat.
Of course, by no means are we trying to justify these conditions. But, given the facts laid out in the beginning, we might have to start.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 9, 2013