New York City To Remove Over 400 Homeless Children From Shelters

In an attempt to improve the lives of New York City‘s homeless children, Mayor Bill de Blasio is prepping to announce that he plans to remove 400 children from two homeless shelters. According to officials these shelters are being targeted because of their cited reports for their poor conditions that they’ve racked up over the last ten years.

According to the New York Times, de Blasio’s administration has already begun to transfer over 400 homeless children from the two shelters into better temporary shelters. The two problematic shelters are the Auburn Family Residence in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and the Catherine Street shelter in Lower Manhattan. This move to relocate 400 homeless children into better housing areas affirms that the services investing in children’s’ well being will be improved.

It makes sense that Mayor Bill de Blasio would act quickly, as the rising numbers of homeless children are sadly increasing. The population of homeless children that de Blasio hopes to help out in New York are upwards to 22,000.

In order to find the homeless children staying in these two shelters better living situations, the administration hopes that they will place the children in subsidized permanent housing or another temporary shelter for families. As for the deplorable shelters Auburn and Catherine Street, they will be turned into adult family shelters once fully converted to better conditions.

According to reports the poor conditions of Auburn and Catherine Street shelters have been known for three decades, but apparently nothing was done to improve the shelters. For three decades homeless children have been living in a dangerous environment that saw cockroaches, spoiled food, and rampant violence, and insufficient heating systems in place. Inspectors warned that these facilities were unfit for children.

The Auburn shelter had been written up for 400 violations over the years. Some of their violations included: “Vermin, mold, lead exposure, an inoperable fire safety system, insufficient child care and the presence of sexual predators, among them, a caseworker.” In the Catherine Street shelter children were sharing bathrooms with strangers, and sometimes families lived in the quarters without kitchens or running water. Catherine Street received 150 violations since 2006, where the state agency was appointed in overseeing Catherine Street during their routine schedule.

Interestingly enough, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance could have taken action against the shelters by sanctioning them but chose not to because that “would have meant defunding services that help tens of thousands of New Yorkers in need at a time when New York City had the highest number of homeless residents in its history.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio, said about the conditions of the two New York shelters, “we just weren’t going to allow this to happen on our watch.”

[Image credit: Olesia Bilkei / Shutter Stock]