New Yorkers track homelessness on social media, spur debate

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Some New York City residents are using social media to map and share sightings and photographs of homelessness, and their efforts are generating conversation and concern.

Organizers say they're illustrating a pressing social problem to urge the city to solve it. Advocates for the homeless say the social media efforts are more harassment than help.

The debate comes amid anxiety and frustration about homelessness in the nation's biggest city. As of Tuesday night, there were over 57,700 homeless people in shelters, a 13 percent increase from the same night two years ago, with possibly thousands of others on the streets.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's (deh BLAH'-zee-oh) administration has taken steps including creating rent subsidies and public-housing preferences for homeless families and adding 500 homeless-shelter beds at religious institutions this winter.