File photo of a homeless man making his way through the Brooklyn bridge during low temperatures at Lower Manhattan in New York

NYC's mayor launches new program to help quell tide of homelessness

File photo of a homeless man making his way through the Brooklyn bridge during low temperatures at Lower Manhattan in New YorkBy Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) – Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a new program on Thursday to reduce New York’s rising population of people living on the streets, following criticism of his handling of the issue and days after the abrupt departure of his top advisor on homelessness. The program will dedicate a team of city workers to make contact with and help the 3,000 to 4,000 people living on the streets and will be the most comprehensive homeless outreach plan deployed in a major U.S. city, de Blasio said in a speech. “No matter how long it takes, we will reach every single person.” The NYC Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement S‎treet Action Team, or HOME-STAT, which aims to be fully operational by March, is part of a $2.6 billion plan by the mayor to address homelessness.

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