Sections

The homeless leave Coney and Brighton ahead of winter Hope count, advocates say

Snowbirds of passage! Annual homeless count misses seaside’s summer highs: Locals

It doesn't add up: Yelena Makhnin of the Brighton Beach Business Improvement District says the city's annual January homeless count underestimates Brighton Beach's booming, summertime indigent population. File photo
Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

The city’s annual homeless count is Jan. 25, but local leaders say the dead-of-winter tally totally fails in coastal communities, where the homeless population ebbs in the winter and flows in the summer, and are calling on the city tabulators to comes back in warm months. Community board members fear the low reckoning may mean less street-level homeless services when warm weather draws vagrants to the neighborho­ods’ boardwalks and commercial strips, one member and business leader said.

“The homeless are seasonal — during the summertime — so usually, when they come and do the homeless count in January, there’s nobody here,” said Yelena Makhnin, director of the Brighton Beach Business Improvement District. “In our district — a coastal area — we are definitely, 100-percent under-served, because the real number of homeless you can’t see until the spring and summer.”

But the federally mandated Hope survey aims to catch the chronically homeless — those out amid the year’s coldest days — and community leaders can count on the city’s mostly volunteer tabulators to tell the homeless from those who are just out on the street, a spokeswoman said.

“Not everyone on our city’s streets are homeless, and the annual Hope count is a federally required, annual count helping to assess those living on our street who are chronically homeless,” said Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman Nicole Cueto.

The mayor’s recently unveiled Home Stat initiative includes quarterly homeless counts and additional outreach citywide, she said.

But the city relies on the Hope survey to estimate neighborho­ods’ homeless populations and to help determine where to focus outreach teams who help the indigent find housing, the spokeswoman said.

Basing year-round policy on numbers that seem to swing from season to season doesn’t add up in Brooklyn’s beach neighborhoods, another leader said.

“For us, it doesn’t tell the whole story,” said Community Board 13 district manager Eddie Mark.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: