Take a walk through any borough of New York City and you’re likely to encounter people living on the street.
Homelessness is on the rise in the city, up 39% from 2016. And even more are opting to live in the city’s streets, parks, and alleys than shelters — nearly 4,000 as of July, the most since 2005.
There’s a vast diversity to the people living without secure housing, and the various situations they find themselves in.
In central Brooklyn, a flashpoint of gentrification in the city, we met Moustafa, a 48-year-old mechanic who lost his shop and his home three years ago.
Moustafa now lives nearby in a community of about a dozen homeless mechanics who live out of their vehicles and try to get work when they can. He invited us to spend the day and night with him to get a glimpse into what it’s really like to be homeless in New York.
Here’s what we saw:
When we first met Moustafa, he was changing the the brakes on a car in the parking lot he lived in for a seemingly affluent customer. The area is full of industrial parking lots full of diesel trucks and small buses. He and his fellow homeless mechanics often do work for customers in them.
Some other people were hanging around the lot, but weren’t interested in talking.
The lot had a number of small buses and vans parked in it that Moustafa said many of the homeless in the area lived in. Some people had built out patio areas in front of their vehicles with plants, flowers, and equipment for work.
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Source: Business insider