New York City has been trying to get the homeless out of the cold and into warm shelters in the midst of a cold snap, but so far, the effort is having little impact.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the order, but the city placed just 97 people into shelters and hospitals overnight, a number that was not much different than usual as temperatures fell below freezing, according to a Huffington Post report.
The order can be applied statewide, and simply requires all localities to follow the same requirements as New York City.
There is already emergency shelters for homeless people during freezing nights, a program called Code Blue. These facilities must remain open all day and night regardless of the conditions. But this latest order didn’t seem to do much to change anything — it was simply another regular night for New York City.
There are an estimated 58,000 homeless people sleeping in shelters on a typical night, and about 3,000 to 4,000 people on the streets. New York Mayor Bill De blasio announced an initiative recently to build 15,000 new units to support the homeless.
“For decades, our shelters have not been safe enough or clean enough and that’s just not acceptable,” de Blasio said in a recent statement. “We have already taken steps to improve conditions, but as a result we have learned that more is needed. So we have developed a systematic and thorough program to ensure that problems are promptly identified and fixed and that there is monitoring to make sure the repairs are done correctly and on time. I don’t want anyone refusing to come into a homeless shelter because of bad conditions.”