New York has found a novel, if expensive, way of dealing with its overcrowded shelters – buying one-way tickets for homeless families to leave the city.
Under the initiative, by the administration of the mayor, Michael Bloomberg, hundreds of families have been given plane, rail, and bus tickets and even petrol vouchers to leave the city. One homeless family of five was given $6,332 (nearly £4,000) worth of travel costs to Paris, according to the New York Times.
The city justifies such costs because it argues the alternative is more expensive. It costs New York’s taxpayers $36,000 to put up a homeless family in a night shelter for a year.