April Gayles, with her children Angelina, left, and Nicholas, 6, playing nearby on Wednesday, Oct. 3, in New York. Gayles, a stylist from Chicago who became homeless shortly after moving to the city, used Penn Station as a shelter after the city push her and her children from two different shelters.
(Photo: NYC Homeless Crisis)
by Meghan Barr, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has opened 10 new homeless shelters in recent months to combat a growing crisis of homelessness.
More than 46,000 people are seeking shelter every night in the city's shelters. That's the highest number ever recorded.
A recent census report found the city harbors 14 percent of the nation's homeless. The crisis stems from a lack of affordable housing and the city's wide gap between the rich and the poor.
New York is required by law to provide shelter to every person who seeks it.
The city has been using its power of emergency authority to create shelters quickly. That's upsetting residents in wealthy neighborhoods like the Upper West Side, where a homeless shelter opened in August across the street from an elementary school.
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