Homeless for the Holidays

Homeless for the Holidays

CCC’s latest infographic, NYC Children: Homeless for the Holidays, illustrates the record number of children in New York City who will spend the holiday season living in homeless shelters. The infographic explains the negative impact that living in homeless shelters for long lengths of stay can have on both the well-being of New York City’s children and New York City taxpayers.

While shelters are critical for providing emergency housing to homeless individuals and families, Homeless for the Holidays argues that alternatives like rent subsidies can provide a more cost-effective, long-term solution to family homelessness in New York City. CCC has long supported preventive solutions that keep children from entering the shelter system, and these programs are more important than ever.

Family homelessness has reached crisis levels in New York City, with record numbers of families with children living in shelters for increasingly longer periods of time:

  • The average homeless family will spend 355 days in shelter, compared to 315 days a year ago.
  • More than 20,000 children will live in homeless shelters this holiday season, 20 percent more than last year at this time.

The increase in the number of homeless families can be attributed to multiple factors, including the economic downturn, the shortage of affordable housing in New York City, and the lack of programs to assist homeless families in their transition from shelter to permanent housing.

Family homelessness is traumatic for children, causing disruptions to their lives and separating them from their homes, friends, schools, and broader communities.

The infographic shows how, compared to other children, homeless children are:

  • Twice as likely to experience anxiety, depression or withdrawal from caregivers and peers;
  • Likely to miss 15 more days of school in a school year than their peers, which can be enough to keep them from graduating or being promoted; and
  • Four times more likely to suffer from asthma or respiratory infections.

Additional data on the well-being of New York City’s children will be available in CCC’s upcoming edition of Keeping Track of New York City’s Children, to be released in February 2013.

Click here to download the NYC Children: Homeless for the Holidays infographic.


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  • says:

    This heartbreaking graphic really says it all regarding the immensity of NYC’s homelessness problem and its
    impact on kids.

    • Hatice says:

      Who a levy helps, and whether or not it paesss, is a pretty good insight into a city’s values. Here in Seattle we had to fight to put a substantial portion of the help going to the poorest. Seattle’s got a good tradition going the voters have passed local housing assistance in some form, either bond or levy, since the early ’80s. Doesn’t mean this’s an affordable place for all of course but we’d be worse off without it.


    Hello my name is Annelise Harrell and I do community work. I have 2 families in the Far Rockaway area who could not get toys or food for their children. One is in a shelter and the other is homeless and is temporarily staying with me. Can you help me get some toys and food for them?
    I am on disability from hurting my back on my job, but I help people in the community.
    Thank you for your assistance.
    Annelise Harrell, Advocate

    • nancy russo says:

      Double edge sword, i would open my apt to homeless small family and my greedy LL would have be evicted. I am trying to prevent eviction now. this would be a great way to PREVENT EVICTION> i have been harrased for over a year by my LL a great thing would be to take in a needly family. THAT would be just what my LL needs, to learn a lesson about humanity.

      That said, watch the mayor flip flop this isn’t going to work in “caucasion” zip codes. I see my precient already is redlining who they want in this area and who they don’t. Amazing huh? They can drink in the bar downstairs give them an A when the bldg is loaded with mice and violations but every inspector and fireman passes them with flying colors. May i also say they pulled out evidence in the last fire that i someohow lived though. the hyprocracy of NYC is appaling. Just tell me where i will sign up and help a mother and child this Christmas, lets see if the mayor is putting his money where his mouth is or if this is just more hype.

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