The idea of keeping individuals in their own communities is admirable, but often the communities with the least are the ones where homelessness is the most rampant.
Most of Manhattan, for example, hasn't been affordable in a decade, so it already has a higher concentration of wealth.
Communities like Far Rockaway, with its paltry infrastructure, are going to continue to get inundated with shelters that provide residents little opportunity and few chances to break the cycle of poverty.
A mandate to keep children in their own school district does make sense, but then those districts with the highest number of students living in temporary situations need to be propped up by more funding and resources. Schools should be better equipped to deal with this crisis.
The problem is essentially a lack of equity in infrastructure. If all things were created equal, it wouldn't matter where the shelters are located.
In East New York, where there are fewer jobs, less transportation, more store vacancies and less housing, it's obvious that there's going to be less opportunity for New Yorkers to get on the road to success.
The community needs to have a say in where the shelters are located, too. It can't just be the site of most convenience for the city, but rather something that's debated and discussed at length.
You can mandate a community has a shelter, but they should have some say or least see the decision-making as to its location.
The mayor is right about one thing: there's no quick fix to this plan. It's going to take a long time to fix this problem, but it starts with a massive infrastructure investment on a state and city level.