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NEW YORK – New York City's latest attempt to tackle its chronic homelessness problem comes with a decidedly modest goal.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio's $300 million plan to open 90 new shelters over the next five years is expected to shrink the homeless population by 2,500, a mere 4 percent.
Some homeless advocates say it's a realistic approach. Others argue the city should focus more on helping the 60,000 in shelters move out rather than opening more shelters.
While homelessness has declined nationally in this decade, it has grown in such cities as New York and Los Angeles, for reasons tied to rents surging ahead of incomes.
In New York City, the shelter population has jumped 70 percent in a decade. Another 2,800 were living on the streets at last count last year.