Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Where Did They Go?

The Times reports on the Last Homeless Man in Times Square:
As long as there have been homeless people sleeping in Times Square, there have been social workers and city officials trying to persuade them to leave.

In the past, the homeless were offered a free ride to one of the city’s warehouselike shelters. These days, workers for nonprofit groups help people move into apartments, keeping track as thenumber of the chronically homeless in Times Square goes down. According to their records, by 2005, there were only 55.

Last summer, it was down to 7.

Now there is one.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"In addition to almost 38,000 people living in shelters"

From the NYT:
The Bloomberg administration said Friday that the number of people living on New York’s streets and subways soared 34 percent in a year, signaling a setback in one of the city’s most intractable problems.

Appearing both startled and dismayed by the sharp increase, a year after a significant drop, administration officials attributed it to the recession, noting that city shelters for families and single adults had been inundated.

Robert V. Hess, the commissioner of homeless services, said in a subdued news conference that the city began feeling the increase in its vast shelter system more than two years ago. “And now we’re seeing the devastating effect of this unprecedented poor economy on our streets as well,” Mr. Hess said.

The city’s annual tally indicated an additional 783 homeless people on the streets and in the subway system, for a total of 3,111, up from 2,328 last year. That is in addition to almost 38,000 people living in shelters, which is near the city’s high
. . . . . . . . . .
Last year, city officials said that the count revealed a 30 percent drop in the street homeless population since 2008, an announcement that was made at an elaborate news conference attended by volunteers, formerly homeless people and Linda I. Gibbs, the deputy mayor for health and human services, who spoke briefly.

This year’s event was quiet and spare by comparison. Ms. Gibbs’s commissioner, Mr. Hess, made the announcement in a conference room, seated at a long table.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Milgram Experiments Updated

We'll inflict pain if you put us on TV.

Prison[er] Count 2010

From Pew Center on the States:

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the number of state prisoners in the United States has declined, according to Prison Count 2010," a new survey by the Pew Center on the States. As of January 2010, there were 1,403,091 persons under the jurisdiction of state prison authorities, 5,739 fewer than on December 31, 2008.

This marks the first year-to-year drop in the nation’s state prison population since 1972. While the study showed an overall decline, it revealed great variation among jurisdictions. The prison population declined in 27 states, while increasing in 23 states and in the federal system.

In the past few years, several states have enacted reforms designed to get taxpayers a better return on their public safety dollars. These strategies included:

  • • Diverting low-level offenders and probation and parole violators from prison
    • Strengthening community supervision and re-entry programs
    • Accelerating the release of low-risk inmates who complete risk reduction programs

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hunger and Obesity in the Bronx

“If you look at rates of obesity, diabetes, poor access to grocery stores, poverty rates, unemployment and hunger measures, the Bronx lights up on all of those,” said Triada Stampas of the Food Bank for New York City. “They’re all very much interconnected.”

Monday, March 08, 2010

"If you could just walk in our shoes for two days. . . ."

Low-income mothers and welfare recipients discuss the upcoming reauthorization of welfare reform; audio via the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Ron Haskins, at Brookings, surveys the landscape to gauge the likely areas of debate.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Brief Primer on the Poor Federal Poverty Measure

UPDATE: The Census Bureau lays out the plan for the new, alternative-but-only-supplemental poverty measure (SPM).

Tuesday, March 02, 2010