There are thousands more children in New York City's homeless shelters than there were even a few months ago, according to the latest data from the city, as the migrant crisis grinds on with no end in sight.
As of last Friday, there were 58,152 people (single adults, adult families and families with children) in New York City's shelter system, according to the Department of Homeless Services daily report.
That's 25% higher than the shelter system's average daily census in June, a difference of more than 11,000 people. It's also 29% higher than the daily census at this time a year ago.
But among that number, the youngest in need stand out. There are nearly 4,000 more children in the system now than there were on average three months ago, and nearly 5,000 more kids than the average at this time last year.
The causes are complicated - rising post-COVID evictions, a slow economic recovery, a lack of sufficient legal resources for many - but in recent weeks the problem has been exacerbated by the migrant crisis. More than 13,000 migrants have come to the city in recent months, the mayor said last week, many of them on buses sent by the state of Texas.
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Those kids are being accommodated in the city's school system, and officials are now opening humanitarian response centers to deal with the influx. And to be sure, the total numbers are not abnormal historically, either - the average number of children in the shelter system on a daily basis exceeded 20,000 every month from at least 2015 through 2019.
But the sudden strain on the system is showing nonetheless. On multiple occasions since late July, the city has violated its legal mandates to promptly shelter people, and as News 4 reported last week, fights are now breaking out in family shelters between the city's own homeless population and the newly arrived migrants.