Friday, July 31, 2009

Paying the homeless to leave town

From the NY Times:

They are flown to Paris ($6,332), Orlando ($858.40), Johannesburg ($2,550.70), or most frequently, San Juan ($484.20).

They are not executives on business trips or couples on honeymoons. Rather, all are families who have ended up homeless, and all the plane tickets are courtesy of the city of New York (one-way).

The Bloomberg administration, which has struggled with a seemingly intractable problem of homelessness for years, has paid for more than 550 families to leave the city since 2007, as a way of keeping them out of the expensive shelter system, which costs $36,000 a year per family. All it takes is for a relative elsewhere to agree to take the family in.

Many of them are longtime New Yorkers who have come upon hard times, arrive at the shelter’s doorstep and jump at the offer to move at no cost. Others are recent arrivals who are happy to return home after becoming discouraged by the city’s noise, the mazelike subway, the difficult job market or the high cost of housing.

City officials said there were no limits on where a family can be sent, and families can reject the offer and stay in city shelters. So far, families have been sent to 24 states and 5 continents, most often to Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.


Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the sherrif down south who used to give bus tickets to New York in the old days. I wonder when the shell game stops and people deal with the problem, which is loss of jobs and high poverty rates in America.

Jerry Rotondi said...

I'd personally buy hizzoner a one way ticket to the north slope if he signs a legal commitment promising to stay there.

Let him lord it over the grizzly bears if he's man enough!

Lino said...

I honestly don't see a problem with this..except for the obvious: Most will just treat this as a paid vacation and come back when the feel like it.

But you can think of it a a sort of reparation...for the City.

Missing Foundation said...

Wow. Yankee Stadium is a tourist trap, and Times Square is a haven for midwesterners.

Coney Island is to be a sanitized highrise district (yes, $10 for a hot dog) and now we are dealing with homeless by sending them out of town.

We are losing our soul.

Snake Plissskin said...

Look on the bright side - if I were homeless and wanted to visit relatives in another part of the world, I would show up for the free ticket to.

Again, and again!

Suzannah B. Troy artist said...

For years now I have been saying the only think Mike Bloomberg, socialite mega millionaire city planner and wicked witch of the East Village and John Sexton, president of NYU have not done is provide NYU buses and trolleys as well as trains to move us out for NYU's unending need to expand.

I didn't occur to me plane tickets might be an option!

So many have been made homeless by mass evictions, example 47 East 3rd Street and small businesses forced to shutter because of the Bloomberg tsunami of community crushing development -- the bottom line is people are being pushed out one way or another.

Thanks Queens Crap,
Suzannah B.. Troy

Anonymous said...

$36k per year???? That's the rent on a nice size apt. They're charging that for a cot in a homeless shelter????

Perhaps if in the midst of the tens of thousands of luxury units that have been built that are laying half built or warehoused, they could've even built a few thousand low income apts.

Why do we keep electing this monstrosity?

Anonymous said...

At the same time Bloomberg the welcome mat for more millionaires and billionaires is hiring people for the city for homeless out reach. I wonder if that money is being funneled elsewhere? Im pretty sure it is.

Its PR b.S. because this guy lies about his real agenda like so many wealthy private corporate entities which are never run democratically when the dollar is most important. Sam Walton,Berlusconi, and Rupert Murdoch have so much in common with this guy.

Sanitize NYC, but he doesn't want to provide jobs or anything else to help the homeless. As long as the image and reality are swept under the rug.

Good comment Suzannah.

linda said...

hey maybe he'll start doing the same for all the illegals living here :)

Anonymous said...


Makes me wonder how many of the additional one million NYC residents will take advantage of this free ride when they realize that it was a mistake to come here because Bloomturd told them to!

Anonymous said...

Exodus 22:21

Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Where is *YOUR* ticket home, Bloomberg?

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps if in the midst of the tens of thousands of luxury units that have been built that are laying half built or warehoused, they could've even built a few thousand low income apts. "

Because no one wants a homeless shelter in their you?