The current decade, which began with 23,000 homeless New Yorkers in municipal shelters each night, can rightly be seen as a lost decade with respect to efforts to address the problem of homelessness. Currently more than 36,000 homeless New Yorkers (including nearly 16,000 children) bed down in municipal shelters each night, while thousands more sleep rough on the streets, in the subway system, or in other public spaces. In the final months of 2008, as the economic recession deepened, a record number of newly homeless families entered the New York City shelter system. Despite a virtual consensus about proven, successful policies to reduce homelessness--including supportive housing for homeless people living with mental illness and other special needs, and affordable housing assistance for homeless families-?New York City policymakers have failed to fully embrace housing-based solutions to the problem of homelessness. Mr. Markee, senior policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless, will discuss current advocacy and public policy challenges amidst the economic downturn and the promising change in leadership in Washington, DC. Patrick Markee is the Senior Policy Analyst at Coalition for the Homeless, where he has worked since 1995. He has authored numerous studies and briefing papers on affordable housing and homeless policies in New York City, including Housing a Growing City: New York?s Bust in Boom Times and Legacy of Neglect: The Impact of Welfare Reform on New York?s Homeless. He is also a member of the board of directors of the National Coalition for the Homeless. Patrick Markee is a graduate of Harvard University and has master?s degrees in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas. Before joining the Coalition in 1995, he worked as a consultant on studies of affordable housing in Laredo, Texas, and Cleveland, Ohio, and as a researcher in Cuzco, Peru. In addition to studies for the Coalition, he has written articles and reviews for The New York Times Book Review and The Nation.
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