Homeless Count Reveals Uptick In People On The Street In The Bronx, But Watchdogs Claim Figures Even Higher | Bronx , New York | New York Daily News
The 2012 Homeless Outreach Street Population Estimate found 169 homeless people on the streets of the Boogie Down, a 47% increase over last year, officials announced recently.
Meanwhile, the homeless population of the subway system jumped 28%, from 1,275 to 1,634, and the citywide total rose 23%, from 2,648 to 3,262.
Every year, watchdog groups blast the survey as inaccurate because the city makes no effort to count homeless people hidden under bridges, in vehicles and in abandoned buildings.
But the Department of Homeless Services, in the past, has cited the survey to tout decreases. Despite the 2012 bump, the citywide homeless population is down 26% compared to 2005, the first year of the count, noted Seth Diamond, DHS commissioner.
“The numbers went in a direction we didn’t want,” he said. “But we remain confident in our network of services and our efforts to reach people on the street.”
Diamond insists the survey is the best homeless population measure in the country and said DHS has made progress under Mayor Bloomberg.
He declined to blame the 2012 uptick on the economy.
In the five boroughs, just 1 in 2,506 people are homeless, compared to 1 in 820 in Miami and 1 in 292 in Los Angeles.
“We report the numbers when they go up and when they go down,” said Diamond. “That should give people confidence that the city is doing an honest and transparent job.”
But Patrick Markee, senior policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless, called the annual DHS estimate unreliable.