April 24, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
Queens residents are supportive of the city building more homeless shelters, according to a new study released by the housing-support group Win and HarrisX, a market research firm.
The study found that 47 percent of Queens respondents were supportive of a shelter opening in their own neighborhood, with a smaller 40 percent opposing the idea. These findings come in the wake of heavy public pushback on new shelter proposals from both local residents and politicians alike—particularly in the Glendale area where a 200-man shelter has been proposed.
“Until now, we thought there was a huge amount of controversy around solutions to the homeless crisis,” Win President and CEO Christine Quinn said. “New Yorkers don’t agree on much, but the poll shows that New Yorkers believe we should do more to solve the problem of homelessness and they are willing to do their part, in their own neighborhoods.”
Respondents were also extremely supportive of the city funding a variety of social services for the homeless population, including career counselling, subsidized child care, tax incentives for employers who train and hire homeless, and increasing the value of rent vouchers.
“Policy makers should take note that their constituents believe that more should be done and support a host of solutions that the homeless services community has been advocating for,” Quinn said.
The study revealed, however, that most New Yorkers across the board have an inaccurate perception when it comes to the face of homelessness. Sixty-two percent of all respondents picture single adults when they think about homeless people in the city, when in actuality, 70 percent of New York City’s homeless shelter population are families with children.
The poll was commissioned by Win, the city’s largest provider of shelter and services to homeless women and families, as part of a citywide public advocacy campaign to address the growing challenge of securing housing in the middle of an affordable housing crisis. HarrisX, a market research group, then surveyed 1,002 adults across all five boroughs.