While poverty and homeless populations have fluctuated in size over the years, Ralph da Costa Nunez, President and CEO of the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH), argues that poverty itself “hasn’t changed much in this city, in his new book written with Ethan Sribnick, “The Poor Among Us: A History of Family Poverty and Homelessness in New York City.”
Da Costa Nunez told MetroFocus’ host Rafael Pi Roman that starting with colonial New York and tracing the trajectory of city poverty to present-day economic downturn, a one-size-fits-all approach does not fit New York’s homeless population.
“The answer to this poverty is not more shelters. The answer is not more public assistance. The answer is guaranteeing an education so people can earn a living wage, so that people can go on and become independent. And that hasn’t been the focus. It’s always been taking care of the poor, not educating,” Nunez told Pi Roman.
Read an excerpt of “The Poor Among Us” here.