Homeless Shelters

Homeless Shelters Facing Wave of Overdoses

The number of overdose incidents in NY City homeless shelters spiked nearly 600% in the first four months of fiscal year 2018, a new report says.

As reported by Politico, the opioid crisis is having a devastating effect on New York City’s homeless population, driving up the number of homeless people who died in fiscal year 2017 to a record number, according to a recent report.

At least 311 homeless people died in city fiscal year 2017 — a 30 percent increase from 2016 — and the leading cause of death among them was drug use, with 103 deaths. Of those, 86 were from drug overdoses and the remaining 17 were from chronic drug use. More than three-quarters of the overdose deaths were opioid overdoses, according to the report by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In 2016, only 51 homeless people died of drug overdoses.

The sharp increase comes amid a national opioid crisis and an ongoing homelessness crisis in New York City.

“Folks that have been doing this for 20 years say it’s never been this bad,” said Catherine Trapani, executive director of Homeless Services United, a nonprofit that represents shelter providers.

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To read more about how homeless shelters are dealing with a spike in overdose deaths, please visit Politico.com.

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