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A record 50,000 people on average slept in city shelters this January, according to this new report by the Coalition for the Homeless. Over that same period, 1 percent of the city's youth - or 21,000 kids - spent the night in shelters, a 22 percent increase over the past year. Homeless families now spend over a year in shelters on average.

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To meet the growing need to shelter the homeless, the Bloomberg Administration has been using its power of emergency authority to create shelters as quickly as possible, bypassing the typical community approval process. Unlike in other cities, New York is required by law to provide shelter to every person who seeks it. Ten new homeless shelters in recent months, in places that include the Upper West Side. Every night, 46,000 people seek shelter, the highest number ever recorded. New York City makes up 14 percent of the nation's homeless, with Los Angeles a distant second at 3 percent.

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