NYC pays big bucks to shelter operators

NYC pays big bucks to shelter operators

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

What type of place does $4,000 per month rent get you in Brooklyn? That's the question one mom who lives in a homeless shelter is asking.

"We're really suffering and we really want to do better for ourselves but how can we?" asked Leitoya Dixon. She and her 3 children -- Michael, 8, Kayla, 9, and Alia, 11 -- live in a shelter in East New York, Brooklyn. She said she has been homeless since 2010, when a rent subsidy program called child advantage ended. She said she wonders why the city pays a shelter operator $4,025.65 for housing as it states on her public assistance documents but can't give her help to live on her own?

The tiny shelter apartment has two rooms, a kitchenette, and holes in the walls where Dixon said bugs come in. But it's better than the last one, where the entire floor had only one bathroom.

Dixon said strict curfew rules make it difficult to resume her job as a home health aide. The Department of Homeless Services said residents can get passes to work late, but Dixon said it is a complicated process, especially if work hours change on short notice. She said she feels stuck but hasn't given up hope of getting her own apartment and getting off public assistance.

The Coalition for the Homeless told Fox 5 that the city is paying about $3,000 a month per family to shelter operators, money they said could be used towards rent assistance.

DHS said it has a rental assistance program for families leaving the shelter system.

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