A freedom of information request by the Coalition for the Homeless found that 19,537 children were living in New York City shelters in September, an increase of 24% since July 2011.
The Coalition for the Homeless says the data showed only 35.4% of families applying to stay at homeless shelters were given space, which means that about 65% of homeless families are turned away, reports The Guardian.
The Coalition for the Homeless places some of the blame on the closing of the Advantage housing program in the summer of 2011, which ended a no rent-subsidy program for homeless families.
Giselle Routhier, a policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless, said: "Homeless kids are more likely to feel anxiety and depression and an array of other health problems. That impacts itself on schooling as well, homeless kids miss more days of school, oftentimes they do worse in school than their peers, so we know it has a very negative impact. The fact that we’re seeing record numbers of children in shelters is very disturbing to us.”