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Another Way                             
Individual  Advocacy   
Have a Great One!
A Homeless Man's 

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According to the 1999 figures, the National Coalition for the Homeless reported that the number of S.R.O. apartments decreased by 87% in New York City. Progress and urban renewal eliminated the single-room occupancy hotels where many addicts and mentally ill on the streets lived—the original "skid row" hotels are long gone, replaced by boutiques, cafes and clubs (Laura Parker, "Homeless find the Streets Growing Colder," USA Today, December 3, 1998).
Benefit levels need to be raised to reflect the cost of housing. According to the New York Times, an appellate court ruled that state officials do not provide welfare recipient enough for an apartment in New York City. A family of 3 receives $286 a month for rent, a sum that has remained unchanged since 1988. It can be concluded that more people are at a greater risk of becoming homeless (Rachel L. Swarns, "Court Finds Welfare Pays Too Little for Rent," The New York Times, May 7, 1999).
The Clinton Administration spent $5 million on the homeless between 1987-1993, most of it going to the "continuum of care" programs that provide temporary housing, counseling, and job training. This approach has been successful for some but advocates still believe that affordable housing has to increase in order for homelessness to end (Romesh Ratnesar, "Nation, Not Gone, but Forgotten? Why Americans have stopped talking about homelessness," Time Inc., February 8, 1999).
Workfare is a general term that refers to any program that requires recipients of public assistance to work for a public agency in order to receive benefits. New York City’s version of workfare, called the Work Experience Program (WEP) was implemented in 1995 (Eric Snyder, "Workfare Punishes Homeless in New York City," New York Times).
International Union Gospel Missions, "The Changing Face of America’s Homeless: IUGM Issues Tenth Annual Survey, November 23, 1998. Susan Wright, spokesperson for the city’s department of the homeless, shares the view that subsidized housing is an effective way of helping the 4,700 homeless families now living in the city’s shelters (New York Times, November 1, 1998).
A study by the Center for Poverty Solutions showed 23% more people needed help in obtaining shelter and sustenance in 1998 than 1997. Families dropped from welfare rolls because of new federal mandates turned to emergency providers to feed themselves and their children. (Washington Times, December 16, 1998).