NYC Exporting the Homeless

City buying folks one-way tickets to stay with relatives

By Scott Ross
|  Thursday, Jul 30, 2009  |  Updated 1:49 PM EDT
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NYC Exporting the Homeless

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Pack 'im up and ship 'im out!

In an effort to keep his promise to address the homeless problem in New York City, the Mayor Bloomberg's administration has hit on a novel approach: shipping them out of town.

Since 2007, the city has picked up the tab on travel expenses for more than 550 families to go stay with relatives in other cities, which turns out to be a huge saving compared to the $36,000 it costs annually to house each family, reports The New York Times.

The program costs just $500,000 a year, employing Austin Travel for domestic trips and the Department of Homeless Services handling international travel.

Gotham's homeless have found family in such far-flung places as Paris, Johannesburg and San Juan who were willing to take them in. For one family, the "ticket" out of town was little more than $400 in gas cards to drive home to Michigan.

The stuff of dreams for millions, New York is, for some, a city of nightmares.

"I didn't expect the city to be the way it is," Hector Correa, who was shipped home to Puerto Rico on Tuesday, told the Times. "I was expecting something different, something better."

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