MYFOXNY.COM - If you think you've been seeing more people sleep on city streets, statistics back up the perception. The homeless population living on New York City streets has gone up 50 percent in the past year, according to city statistics reported by the HellsKitchenLife.com blog.
The New York City Department of Homeless Services conducts a yearly survey of the streets of the city to count the number of homeless who are not in shelters. The HOPE survey was conducted in January 2010.
The number of homeless in the borough of Manhattan was up 47 percent in the past year, according to the count. The 2010 count had 1,145 people living in the streets. That is up 368 from 2009.
Brooklyn had the biggest increase of any borough. It saw a homeless increase of more than 100 percent in 2010.
More than 1,000 people now live in New York City's subway system -- up 11 percent in the past year.
While the numbers are alarming, they are still at historically low levels and the ratio of homeless to the general population remains low compared to other major cities, according to the city. The HOPE survey showed a 29 percent drop in homelessness from 2005.
DHS works to prevent homelessness and also provides short-term emergency shelter. The agency seeks to help homeless individuals move from shelters back to permanent housing.
For example, the DHS says it provided temporary, emergency shelter to 8,230 families with children -- equating to 25,204 adults and children in July. But the agency says shelters have seen fewer families. From October 2009 through June 2010, shelters had 11 percent fewer children, who are now back in homes of their own