August 24, by Nathaly Pesantez
The number of families with children from Astoria and Sunnyside who have entered homeless shelters has gone up in recent years, according to a new report on homelessness in New York City.
The report by the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, takes a look at homelessness across the city and its correlation with income and rent data in the five boroughs.
According to the study, Astoria saw 90 families with children entering homeless shelters in 2015, an increase of 17 families from two years prior in 2013. In Sunnyside, the number of families who entered shelters hit 30, nearly doubling from 13 families in 2013.
The study also said that no other community district in the city has such a wide gap between declining incomes and rising rents like community board 1, which covers Astoria, does. The gap may partially explain the increase in homeless families with children from the area from 2013 to 2015, according to the report.
Although family homeless levels in Astoria are still low compared to other parts of the city, the study suggests that it may be becoming a more prevalent issue, which poses another problem—access to nearby homeless shelters and services. The study says residents from Western Queens would have to travel across the borough to Jamaica or to Far Rockaway to get to a Homebase, a Department of Homeless Services (DHS) program that helps prevent homelessness.
Other neighborhoods in western Queens, including Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona, saw increases in families entering homeless shelters, too, with Elmhurst and south Corona, part of community board 4, seeing 52 families with children entering sheltering in 2015 compared to 30 families in 2013.
As far as citywide rates, the number of families entering homeless shelters went up by 23 percent from 2012 to 2016, with the majority of families coming from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and parts of Manhattan. Two-thirds of the DHS shelter population are families with children, according to the report.
To access the full report, click here.