NYC’s Homeless Children

There is an interesting pictorial story about homeless schoolchildren in Tuesday’s NY Times. It covers two kids, a boy and a girl.

The story is written by Eliza Shapiro, a young woman who against all the odds managed to land a position with the Times, strangely enough where her mother has been employed for decades. What a weird coincidence in our meritocratic days!

It is told in slide-show format. I won’t get into the details (you should read it for yourself, it won’t take long, although you do need a subscription), but if I had to describe the tone I would say, paraphrasing Yoda, that “the Feelz is strong in young Shapiro.”

Some hard data and disturbing details did break through, however.

The first was in the headline: “114,000 Students in NYC Are Homeless.” This statistic includes children living in shelters and a larger amount who are “doubled-up” living in apartments with relatives or friends. The number represents a 70% increase over the past ten years, so clearly the city is doing a horrible job of ameliorating this condition, plainly failing to keep children by the thousands out of such a dreadful existence.

The article describes some of the dreadfulness in the cases of Darnell, an 8-year old black boy, and Sandivel, a 10-year old Hispanic girl.

Their families are constantly on the move, as living arrangements fall apart and must be put back together. There are no fathers; both mothers say they fled abusive relationships. Sandivel’s mother doesn’t work. The article says she is supporting her 5 children on her “savings,” which are running out. Darnell’s mom has a job. She is 35 years old and has 8 children, 5 of whom have been taken away from her by the state.

The kids have shuffled through schools as well as homes. On the day of the story they are taking very long, interborough subways rides to their distant elementary schools. They will retrace the commutes in the evening.

They all try to manage as best they can. School is a refuge for Sandivel, but Darnell has behavioral issues and a learning disability. He fights, cries, sulks and only comes alive at computer time and for football practice. If there is a pipeline to prison, he’s in it.

Less than 60% of homeless children eventually graduate from New York’s notoriously substandard schools. The futures of Darnell and Sandivel, their brothers and sisters, and all of the hundred thousand children, are bleak.

And the city has absolutely no solution to their plight. Ms. Shapiro draws the picture and makes no criticisms. (There is a plea for more school guidance counselors specifically for the homeless pupils.) It’s depressing and meant to be.

New York City is not — repeat, not — going through economic hard times. It is thriving, has a great tax base and a liberal political tradition. It offers many benefits to the struggling in order to help them get back on their feet.

It is also crowded, more so than at the end of the last century. Residential housing, however, has not kept up with demand for a myriad of reasons.

Actually, as a so-called “sanctuary city” which welcomes people “living in the shadows,” New York seems to be, as the huge upsurge in the homeless children population demonstrates, conducting its own version of the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

The city is overloading its own safety-net system to the breaking point and dramatically increasing the amount of suffering and dysfunction among the innocent, all for the satisfaction of a progressive pose.

There are other responses that could be drawn. I’m curious to see what the comments section below delivers.

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9 thoughts on “NYC’s Homeless Children”

  1. What percent is 114,000 of the population of New York?

    Did article go back to the upbringing of the parents of these mothers? Is this homelessness multi-generational?

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  2. I would love to read it, but I’ll be dammed if I have to subscribe to read one article.

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  3. 10 Cents:
    What percent is 114,000 of the population of New York?

    Did article go back to the upbringing of the parents of these mothers? Is this homelessness multi-generational?

    The article did not quote NYC’s current population, which in 2016 was 8.54 million. How many are school-age kids, I don’t know. But 114,000 homeless kids is too damn much.

    The background of Sandivel’s mother, Maria, is not sketched out at all. All we get is no job, 5 kids (oldest 15) and a former abusive relationship.

    About Darnell’s mother, Sherine, this was written:

    “Like her son, Sherine has never had a home to call her own for long. She was raised by her grandmother until she was 12, then lived in foster care. She entered a shelter when she was 18 and has been in and out of the shelter system ever since.”

    Another success story for the bureaucratic welfare state.

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  4. Freesmith:

    10 Cents:
    What percent is 114,000 of the population of New York?

    Did article go back to the upbringing of the parents of these mothers? Is this homelessness multi-generational?

    The article did not quote NYC’s current population, which in 2016 was 8.54 million. How many are school-age kids, I don’t know. But 114,000 homeless kids is too damn much.

    The background of Sandivel’s mother, Maria, is not sketched out at all. All we get is no job, 5 kids (oldest 15) and a former abusive relationship.

    About Darnell’s mother, Sherine, this was written:

    “Like her son, Sherine has never had a home to call her own for long. She was raised by her grandmother until she was 12, then lived in foster care. She entered a shelter when she was 18 and has been in and out of the shelter system ever since.”

    Another success story for the bureaucratic welfare state.

    Thank you.

    I can’t think how the state can stop the consequences of these actions.

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  5. Freesmith:
    There is an interesting pictorial story about homeless schoolchildren in Tuesday’s NY Times.

    A link to the article would have been helpful.

    Freesmith:
    (you should read it for yourself, it won’t take long, although you do need a subscription)

    Actually, you don’t ever need a subscription to the NYT. They let you read a few articles for free each month. The only way they know how many is by storing the information in a cookie. You can either

    1. delete all nyt and nytimes cookies      OR
    2. use a burner browser just for this purpose and delete all data

    Either way, that sets your article count to zero. Rinse and repeat. Here’s a step-by-step guide to deleting cookies.

    Warning: Do not delete all cookies in a browser you use for other things. It will sign you out of websites, delete information you want your browser to have, and result in the death of your firstborn. Either delete selectively (#1) or do it on a browser reserved for sites that have obnoxious cookie policies (#2).

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  6. Not even reading the article, your description is heartbreaking. But what to do? From information given it seems the fix is that fathers treat their children and the mothers of their children with love and care, and women don’t make babies with men who don’t promise to do that. These cases don’t seem like a housing availability problem, exactly. When adults are wrong and their children suffer it is very difficult to know how to help long term and easy to make things worse. As you say NYC has a lot of services available.

    NYC probably does have a housing availability problem but it would be better illustrated by an employed person not being able to find housing for a family. The government can only solve these children’s problems with permanent free housing. That does not seem to work long term and creates bad incentives and usually a bad environment.

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  7. Jojo:
    Not even reading the article, your description is heartbreaking.

    Agreed.  I am familiar enough with a few hard-luck tales from nearby Memphis; I don’t need to give NYT any clicks, especially if their aim is on wringing an emotional response from the reader by a narrow focus on the plight of a child.  That is just part of their effort to keep the low-information voters on their side on board with their platform of endless expansion of already-failing social safety-net programs.

    But what to do? From information given it seems the fix is that fathers treat their children and the mothers of their children with love and care, and women don’t make babies with men who don’t promise to do that.

    At which point my initial inclination is to launch into a long discourse on bourgeois values, pointing out how the Great Society programs all have built-in incentives for bad behavior and built-in disincentives to good behavior.  (By “bad” and “good” I have in mind actions that would set the child up for future failure or future success.)

    Ever since the Moynihan Report in 1967, every time a conservative suggested even small tweaks around the edges of the Great Society programs, the conservative was vilified with the most emotionally-charged insults imaginable.  Remember pushing granny in her wheelchair over the cliff?

    President Trump is on the right track.   The only way to improve the lives of these children is to improve the general economy, generate more jobs, and attack the Left, who designed and run the failing Great Society programs, designed and run the failing schools, seized the political power and ran once-great cities into the ground, and who stand in the way of any initiative intended to result in better life situations for these little ones.

    And the best way for us to support President Trump as he tries to make progress on the front while trying to drain the swamp at his rear, is to attack attack attack the mass media who are lying about conservative initiatives, suggestions, and alternatives.

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  8. You know that homophobic/ hate group that Chick fil A stopped giving money to. They were established to help kids like this. But cause they are a bunch of hatey McHate pants, society now has to shun them.

    Sorry kids but believing in Jesus Christ and trying to live by his example is now considered hateful, so you’re on your own. Go hit up the hipsters in Brooklyn for charity and see how far that gets you.

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