Counting Our Poorest People

By Soraya Anna Auer

Thousands of volunteers combed the streets, parks, and subways of New York City in the early hours of  February 9, to conduct the city’s annual survey of the homeless. With the results, the Department of Homeless Services says it will be able to estimate program needs, allocate resources, and educate the public on issues facing the city’s poorest residents. The count is also crucial for accessing federal funding to tackle homelessness.

Last year’s count by the department found 3,357 street homeless people in New York City, most of them in the subways. That’s a couple of hundred more than what was found in 2013, but 24 percent less than the survey’s first annual count in 2005. This year’s tally will not be released for months.

Counting in the Wee Hours from NY CITY Lens on Vimeo.

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