The homeless population has always had a persistant presence in New York, but in the past several years homelessness in the city has skyrocketed. According to recent reports, the number of homeless in city shelters has risen from 53,000 to 60,000 during mayor Bill de Blasio’s term.
According to de Blasio, people are increasingly losing their permanent housing due to a perfect storm of plateauing income and a hot real estate market reaching into new neighborhoods, like Bushwick or Greenpoint, where landlords once accepted homeless families and their subsidies. Simply put, many families can’t simply keep up and end up in the shelter system.
With that in mind, our group is interested in examining how the homelessness crisis is playing out in one particular street corner in Greenpoint, Brooklyn: the intersection of Milton and Manhattan.
There are two churches on the street, one of which sponsors a daily food pantry for the neighorhood’s homeless population. Alongside the lines of homeless people, however, are the vestiges of gentrification: designer coffee shops, a CVS, boutiques, and a bank. This is just one of the battlegrounds where New Yorkers are increasingly losing their housing and entering the shelter system.
Here is the initial storyboard for the 3-5 minute film we will make: