NEW YORK – New York City is buying one-way plane tickets for homeless families to leave the city.
It's part of a program by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration to keep the homeless out of the expensive shelter system, which costs $36,000 a year per family.
More than 550 families have left the city since 2007. All it takes is for a relative to agree to take them in.
The city employs a travel agency for domestic travel and the Department of Homeless Services handles international travel.
City officials say there are no limits on where a family can be sent and families can reject the offer.
Families have been sent to 24 states and five continents, mostly to Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
City officials say none of the relocated families have returned to city shelters.