Master of Arts (MA)
Following the 2017 "Turning the Tide" reform effort by Mayor de Blasio, the controversial cluster site shelters started to combat homelessness were set to close in 2021. How effective were those reforms? In an examination of resident experiences and historical building data, one of the worst offending buildings was mainly unchanged by efforts. Aside from the designation change, homeless providers moved individuals into the building and conditions had still not improved.
Schermerhorn, Jacob R., "At a Former Cluster Site, the Tide Remains After de Blasio era Reforms, Homeless Shelter Shows no Signs of Improvement" (2021). CUNY Academic Works.
The exterior of 540 Southern Boulevard, a former cluster site, seen through the interior courtyard.
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Kareem Padgett, a formerly homeless resident of 540 Southern Boulevard, stands in his apartment. A rodent problem, drug usage, and a lack of security makes him feel unsafe having his six-year-old daughter for overnight visits.
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Harvey James, another resident of the former cluster site, stands in his kitchen. He says there were intial promises of a security guard and working intercom that were not met when he moved from a hotel to the apartment.
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This graphic shows the increase in homeless indivduals from 1993 to 2021 based on Monthly Shelter Census data from the Department of Homeless Services.
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The exterior of 540 Southern Boulevard seen from a sidewalk view. The faulty intercom and oft-propped open door into the courtyard can be seen.
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This graphic shows the number of operational cluster sites according to shelter repair data from the Department of Homeless Services from 2016 to 2021.
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This graphic shows the number of open building violations based on monthly shelter repair data maintained by the Department of Homeless Services from 2016 to 2021.
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The mailboxes at 540 Southern Boulevard which are either faulty or entirely removed from the wall. Padgett's mailbox should be where the hole in the wall is instead.
Available for download on Friday, January 17, 2025