The Bloomberg administration said Friday that the number of people living on New York’s streets and subways soared 34 percent in a year, signaling a setback in one of the city’s most intractable problems.
Appearing both startled and dismayed by the sharp increase, a year after a significant drop, administration officials attributed it to the recession, noting that city shelters for families and single adults had been inundated.
Robert V. Hess, the commissioner of homeless services, said in a subdued news conference that the city began feeling the increase in its vast shelter system more than two years ago. “And now we’re seeing the devastating effect of this unprecedented poor economy on our streets as well,” Mr. Hess said.
The city’s annual tally indicated an additional 783 homeless people on the streets and in the subway system, for a total of 3,111, up from 2,328 last year. That is in addition to almost 38,000 people living in shelters, which is near the city’s high. Read more.....