Homeless New Yorkers Died in Record Numbers Last Year

NYC Sees Highest Number of Homeless Deaths Since 2006

More homeless New Yorkers died during the last year than any other year since 2006, according to new data from the city’s Department of Homeless Services, (DHS) reports Gothamist. 

Advocates and city officials say that the increase is likely due, in part, to a concurrent increase in the size of New York's overall homeless population. Since last fall, the shelter population has hovered around a record 60,000 individuals. That's not including the harder-to-track street homeless population, homeless individuals who use drop-in shelters, and those who might stay with friends or family.

Between July 2015 and June 2016, 239 homeless people died in New York City, according to DHS. This marks an increase of 27 deaths from fiscal year 2015. 

According to Politico, which first reported and graphed the latest death statistics, homeless deaths have been rising since 2011, when the documented total was 157. Rates fluctuated between 2006 and 2011, but were still less than last year's total.

Advocates maintain that stable, permanent housing is the best cure for the mental and physical stress that homelessness exacts. This week, advocates called on the state’s governor to release promised funding toward 35,000 apartments units for homeless individuals and accompanying health services.

According to a 2013 Journal of the American Medical Association study, the death rate among homeless adults between the ages of 44 and 65 is four and a half times that of non-homeless adults. For homeless adults between 25 and 44, the death rate is nine times as high.