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Study: Increased number of Astoria, Sunnyside families with children have entered homeless shelters

Report by the Citizens’ Committee for Children

Aug. 24, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

The number of families with children from Astoria and Sunnyside who have entered homeless shelters has gone up in recent years, according to a new report on homelessness in New York City.

The report by the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York takes a look at homelessness across the city and its correlation with income and rent data in the five boroughs.

According to the study, Astoria saw 90 families with children entering homeless shelters in 2015, an increase of 17 families from two years prior in 2013. In Sunnyside, the number of families who entered shelters hit 30, nearly doubling from 13 families in 2013.

The study also said that no other community district in the city has such a wide gap between declining incomes and rising rents like community board 1, which covers Astoria and a sliver of Woodside and Long Island City. The gap may partially explain the increase in homeless families with children from the area from 2013 to 2015, according to the report.

Although family homeless levels in Astoria are still low compared to other parts of the city, the study suggests that it may be becoming a more prevalent issue, which poses another problem—access to nearby homeless shelters and services. The study says residents from Western Queens would have to travel across the borough to Jamaica or to Far Rockaway to get to a Homebase, a Department of Homeless Services (DHS) program that helps prevent homelessness.

Other neighborhoods in western Queens, including Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona, saw increases in families entering homeless shelters, too, with Elmhurst and south Corona, part of community board 4, seeing 52 families with children entering sheltering in 2015 compared to 30 families in 2013.

As far as citywide rates, the number of families entering homeless shelters went up by 23 percent from 2012 to 2016, with the majority of families coming from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and parts of Manhattan. Two-thirds of the DHS shelter population are families with children, according to the report.

To access the full report, click here.

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Mary L

administration makes New Yorkers sound heartless and not very charitable. This is the ?furthest thing from the truth. When I was a child my uncle lost his job and my parents moved him his wife and three children into our two bedroom apartment for almost a year until they got back on their feet. It was crowded but we managed. This is more common than this administration would have us believe. Most of that 60K is semantic and classification games played by the administration and homeless services agencies. People get on homeless
rolls to speed up gov’t housing benefits. Yes, much of the city has become unaffordable to many but you move to a place that is more affordable. That is exactly what the overwhelming majority of my friends and relatives did back in the 60’s and 70’s. We all came from Sunnyside and other neighborhoods in the city and didn’t demand the government find us subsidised housing. We wanted to live closer to our families too. Many didn’t want to leave the old neighborhoods either. Many of the people in the system like the people holding go back to China signs as they got off the buses at the old Pan American Hotel, sound if they have a high sense of entitlement. Government should be focusing more of it’s efforts on the elderly and disabled. Does anyone really believe tens of thousands of families would end up in the streets of NYC if we said no to more shelters? The law that says the city needs to provide shelters needs to be revisited and a complete review.


It’s not a law but a judicial fiat. The lawyer that brought the case is now in charge of homeless services.

Joe at the Berkley

How many NYC homeless are from other places? Wasn’t the unfortunate family, who tragically lost two children in that horrible radiator explosion in a shelter apartment in the Bronx,from Portland Maine?


This study is a farce. just a way for Deblasio administration to force shelters on these neighborhoods in the name of making neighborhoods pulling their fair share of “weight”. Since we will never know who these families are or were because of privacy laws the deceitful Deblasio administration can pretty much say anything they want.


A Bundy – it’s obvious that administration feels there would be less community opposition to creation of homeless shelters in these neighborhoods if the community thought the people being housed in the facilities came from the neighborhood. So they just fudge the zip code of “origin” of the person or persons seeking assistance paper work. Remember when HRA Commissioner Banks was trying to force the homeless shelter on Maspeth he claimed over a hundred of people and families in the system “claimed” Maspeth as zip code of “origin”. Due to privacy laws we will never really know if this claim is true. Much of this issue is semantic and classification agency games. People have family to stay with but get on homeless rolls to expedite low-income housing benefits is a good example of the fudging. Not to mention the people who come from outside the city who enter the system to get a low rent apartment.

stay warm

Why is the assumption that developers and gentrification is the reason some families cant afford western queens anymore and are kicked to the curb so must seek shelter elsewhere. I’m sure each homeless family are homeless for different reasons, let it be loss of work or some medical issue with accruing dept or maybe life style choices. True, this part of Queens is getting very expensive but so is Park Avenue.We all do pity a family that losses their home for reasons outside of their control but on the same hand if you cant afford to live in a neighborhood because it becomes too expensive, then i’m sorry but move to one that you can,


What you don’t understand is this. Rents around here were affordable until developers and the city government got what they ave wanted for decades: rezoning. With rezoning, prices have risen throughout the borough. This is being changed from a “bedroom community” for laborers into a destination for international traders and people priced out of Manhattan This change is intentional. It is meant to hoist laborers out of their homes and neighborhoods so people with more money can move in. That is why homelessness is surging It is by design..


It does not matter why the prices went up, they did. Move. It does not help that the best way to get into public housing is to claim homelessness, and make finding an apartment the city’s burden rather than your own.


As property taxes, heating bills, water bills, etc. go up home owners are forced to pass on these costs to their renters. The renters do not understand why their rents are rising. Many homes in Sunnyside and Woodside are two, three family homes with owner living in one of the apartments.Many owners are illegally subdividing apartments, renting rooms, or allowing multiple families to live in apartments. Seems this is becoming the new normal.


You don’t understand anything about economics but please continue with your re-zoning slant as if one thing has lead to price increases across the borough. It doesn’t make you sound more educated to anyone who knows better.


Not only rezoning – the implementation of preferential rents which eventually will put an end to rent stabilization. Our elected representatives do nothing because they all accept contributions from landlords and developers.

anti-gentrification moron

You can’t control supply and demand. People who keep claiming that it is just the rezoning laws are completely clueless as to how basic economics works. All neighborhoods go through change. Fighting “gentrification” and acting like it is a negative thing is ignorant. You can’t fight it and it isn’t a bad thing unless you like living next to several hotels turned into homeless shelters and areas that contain more crime.

Save the Robots

“In Sunnyside, the number of families who entered shelters hit 30, nearly doubling from 13 families in 2013.”

I think you mean “more than” doubling.


Very unfortunate. However, 30 families out of the thousands that live here and keep coming is not that bad though. Its all about demand and supply. Rentals and home sales prices increase when there is a demand for them Thats the way it goes. And for all we know these families are merely following protocol nowadays and waiting for public housing in NYC.


This neighborhood was eminently affordable until the rezoning. We are being raped by developers. Wake up to the facts. Our politicians are in their clutches and can’t get out.


especially JVB who is all for all of this building and please do not tell me that it is not true because it is


You mean sunnyside families not woodside. Most of woodsiders have a decency not to fall in that “category of clients” like they want to be called so keep your mouth shut before you speak

Fan of doughboy park

Heartless commenters below will say these families are criminals and get what they deserve.

It could be you someday.

I hope these families can get back on their feet.

Jesus’s mom was homeless when he was born.

Type Amen


it was me one day when i was 12. you have no idea what its really like. but i learned my lesson that i dont wish on anyone. family is completely worthless when you are struggling and suffering because of their stupidity and selfishness. however, you cannot learn the value of being humble without being humiliated first.
families are not criminals, but whose fault is it if they have kids they cant afford? you are right, jesus’s mom was homeless, but should have known better not to have a kid she couldn’t afford. the biological father should have known better too, but didnt care, and was pretty much a deadbeat since day 1. nobody ever wants to be held accountable, and the rest of the people around have to deal with their drama and nonsense. intentional neglect and negligence is the biggest sin of all.


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