Mayor Bill de Blasio may have once been reluctant to admit how serious and widespread the issue of homelessness is in the New York City, but it appears he's finally changed his stance. After facing criticism for asserting “homelessness is not going up” back in July, he has since acknowledged the problem and vowed to find a solution for it.
And the timing could not be more pertinent. According to city records, the number of homeless New York City residents reached an all-time high in December 2014, despite the court-mandated right to shelter mandate, which requires the city to provide temporary housing to every eligible individuals.
"One thing we have in New York City that we don't have in any other city is a right to shelter ... All people who are homeless in New York City have a right to be sheltered -- both families, single, youth, couples and that's an incredibly important right because it means if people are out on the street we really want to see them come into shelter," Judith Goldiner, Civil Law Reform Unit attorney-in-charge, told HuffPost Live.
While shelters provide emergency assistance to those who need it, Goldiner said permanent housing is the best way to tackle the issue of homelessness in the long run.
"The cure for all of this is not to open more shelters, but to get people permanent housing. And whatever population you're in ... everybody needs housing," she told host Zerlina Maxwell. "In the most expensive city in the country, New York, people really need help to get that housing."
Watch HuffPost Live's full conversation about a possible solution to homelessness here.
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