Will Mayor Bill De Blasio Break the Cycle?

After learning about our past mayoral approaches on the homelessness crisis, what comes to question is will our current mayor, Mayor Bill De Blasio be able to fix the homelessness crisis and improve the cities quality of life or will his actions mirror the mayoral predecessors? When De Blasio took office in 2014, the homelessness crisis was growing far off from previous years and has accelerated tremendously. Taking into consideration of the number of homeless individuals, De Blasio decided that the best way with handling the issue is opening shelters and providing mental health services and substance abusive services for the homeless. Our current mayor seems to see this as the only option with going about the issue. At times like this where the number of homeless individuals in New York City does not stop, but rather continues to increase, it is hard to say whether De Blasio’s approach will genuinely resolve the homelessness issue or will make things worse.

Video to De Blasio’s Plan 2014:

De Blasio’s plan has continued to serve for the past four years in building shelters and providing services to help the homeless mentally and physically. However, this plan was unsuccessful as it only increased the homeless population, hitting records high above 60,000 individuals. According to De Blasio, he claims that he is working hard to fix the homeless crisis and that he should not be blamed about the recent rise of the homeless population. Indirectly, De Blasio claimed in an interview with MSNBC that New York City is responsible for the homeless crisis because of the unaffordable houses it provides to all of its residents. Our former President, Ronald Reagan would disagree with De Blasio as he states “one problem that we’ve had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say by choice.” If that was the case, then I think it is important to raise the following questions: Is child also accountable for homelessness? Is a child homeless by choice? Whether he agrees or disagrees, or whether New York City is to be blamed or not is beside the point. One thing that is clear is that the homeless issue has become a huge problem in New York City and it should be taken seriously.

The homelessness crisis in New York City should be taken care of by the mayor. The mayor is responsible for fixing and improving the “quality of life” for all city residents. De Blasio has failed with his first plan in declining the homeless population. Now with his third term as mayor he has established a new plan, which is to “build 90 new shelters in the next five years and improving shelter operations and ending the city’s reliance on hotels and private apartments to shelter people.” It is hard to tell whether De Blasio’s new plan will succeed in fixing the issue or will fail once again.

Data courtesy Coalition For The Homeless, based on NYC data
“I today cannot see an end,” said de Blasio of the city’s homelessness crisis. Photo: Edwin J. Torres

On that note, it is important to pay close attention that all our former mayors have established shelters for the homeless, but that has not been seen as an improvement on the homelessness crisis. Every year you will see the homeless population significantly increasing rather than decreasing, which is very frightening and disappointing. It is important to understand that by sheltering the homeless the city is hiding the visible issue of homelessness and neglecting the underlying issues inside the shelters. De Blasio does claim that he will work to fix the problems in the shelters, but would that be sufficient enough to solve the homelessness crisis? The homelessness issue has become very problematic that solving it seems impossible. It seems that at this point our current Mayor Bill De Blasio will be following a similar route to solving the homelessness crisis as our mayoral predecessors. Looks like the cycle won’t come to an end after all.