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Queens senator schedules public forum on city's homelessness

A homeless man panhandles along Eighth Avenue

A homeless man panhandles along Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on May 18, 2015. Photo Credit: Getty Images

A Queens state senator is looking for smart solutions to the city's homeless crisis and scheduled a public forum next month to hear New Yorkers' ideas.

Tony Avella, who is the chair of the Senate Task Force on the Delivery of Social Services in New York City, said he expects to have many experts, residents and other officials testify at the forum on Oct. 7 at 250 Broadway, in Manhattan. More than 56,000 people lived in homeless shelters in June, according to the city, and the senator said it's getting worse..

"Gauging by the concern of the community on this issue, it seems that the public will to address homelessness in New York City is not only there, it is in abundant supply. I encourage everyone to bring their passion and vision to the public forum and contribute," he said in a statement.

Avella said he was most concerned with the trend where temporary shelters are converted into permanent ones and called for new leadership at the city's Department of Homeless Services.

"The Task Force was not created because we're already doing enough for those dependent on social services; it was created under the consensus that there is far more needed to be done," he said.

The city's Department of Homeless Services didn't return calls for comment.


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