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Poll: NYC needs to do more for homeless

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 majority of New York City voters report seeing an increase in homeless people in recent years and view homelessness as a “very serious” problem, according to Quinnipiac Poll results released Wednesday.

The poll also found 46 percent of voters say the quality of life in the city has gone downhill in recent years, while 33 percent say it remains the same and 19 percent say it has gotten better.

“New Yorkers are seeing more homeless people on the street and they don’t like it,” Quinnipiac University assistant poll director Maurice Carroll said in a statement.

The poll showed 66 percent of voters believe people on the streets is a “very serious” problem and 27 percent think it’s a “somewhat serious” issue.

Meanwhile, 58 percent report seeing more homeless individuals on the streets, in parks and on the subway, 27 percent say they’re seeing “about the same” amount and 11 percent say they see fewer, according to the survey.

Carroll pointed to a large showing of sympathy for the homeless. Mayor Bill de Blasio has been criticized and scrutinized for for his management of the problem and has stepped up efforts to respond.

Among other initiatives to help the homeless, de Blasio this winter launched a plan to create 15,000 supportive housing units linked to social services as well as the HomeStat program to track and provide individualized care for the homeless .

But a large segment of New Yorkers — 73 percent — say the city is doing too little to help the homeless population, the poll found.

De Blasio spokeswoman Ishanee Parikh responded in a statement.

“We agree that our city’s homeless families and individuals deserve more prevention, shelter exit, and street outreach options,” she said, “and that’s why we’ve made unprecedented commitments to ensure New York City has the most comprehensive program to prevent and reduce homelessness in the country.”

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,143 city voters between Jan. 11 and Sunday via landline and cell phone. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.


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