In New York City, Workers With Full Time Jobs Are Living In Homeless Shelters

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Puleo added he has “never seen” the homeless situation this bad.


Dilcy Benn, president of the union’s Local 1505, said more than 100 of the 1,000 parks workers she represents are living in shelters and at least another four, including Torres, are living on the streets on Staten Island and The Bronx.


– From the Market Watch article: Hundreds of Full-Time New York City Workers are Homeless

One of the main data points that pundits and politicians who claim there is an “economy recovery” point to is jobs created. Please tell me, what good is a job if it can’t earn you a roof over your head?

Welcome to the Oligarch Recovery.


From Market Watch:

Angelo Torres punches in to work at 5 a.m. each weekday and spends the next eight hours cleaning up debris on Staten Island’s Midland Beach.


It’s a grueling job, says the veteran Parks Department maintenance worker, but also a welcome escape from the uncertainty of living on the streets as one of the city’s more than 300 full-time workers who are homeless.

“I cry every night thinking this isn’t really happening, but it is,” Torres, 45, told The Post.


Torres earns $33,662 a year but says it’s not enough to find four walls and a roof to call his own in a city where, according to StreetEasy, the median rent is $2,690 a month. 


So he has spent the past four months living out of his beat-up 2001 Chevy Blazer with tinted windows. He has two small bags of belongings to his name.


“Everyone’s like, ‘Take a shower and wash your clothes!’ They don’t know what is going on. It hurts a lot. I work for the city. I never thought this would happen to me,” he said.


“A city job was always the gateway out of poverty,” said Joseph Puleo, president of Local 983 of District Council 37, which represents 3,000 blue-collar city workers.


“You knew you had a pension, a good job and didn’t have to worry, but those days are gone,” he said.


Puleo added he has “never seen” the homeless situation this bad.


Some full-time workers in DC 37 — whose locals represent a total of 121,000 city workers — earn just $24,000 a year.


Dilcy Benn, president of the union’s Local 1505, said more than 100 of the 1,000 parks workers she represents are living in shelters and at least another four, including Torres, are living on the streets on Staten Island and The Bronx.


It was unclear how many members were homeless before they began working for the city. The city’s Department of Homeless Services refused to comment.


Sokunbi Olufemi, of Communications Workers of America Local 1182, which represents 1,800 city traffic and sanitation enforcement agents, places much of the blame on de Blasio.


“Our mayor is traveling all over the world and most states in America talking about payment equality, but he hasn’t fixed the roof in his own house,” Olufemi said. “His roof is leaking, and he refuses to fix it.”

That’s how city employees are treated in the one place that benefited more than any other from the taxpayer bailout of Wall Street. At least financial service industry bonuses were saved.

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wendigo's picture
wendigo (not verified) Sep 22, 2015 8:51 PM

I wouldn't willingly live in NYC, not for 10 million dollars. 

wolfnipplechips's picture

You still couldn't afford it.

Tom Servo's picture

I'm confused, he lives in a Blazer, and makes $647 a week (before taxes and dues), assuming a rough 40% tax rate because he's an idiot that doesn't understand how to fill out a W2, he takes home $388 a week.  what is he spending his money on?!  meth, mcdonalds, a cell phone with a data plan and wild turkey?


umdesch4's picture

Right, and your math skills need work. If you assume that's what he makes, and any place within, let's say 25 miles of where he works costs at minimum $1500/month in rent (well below the $2690 median stated in the article), then he could live off $52/month somehow. He probably uses some of his paltry earnings to rent a cheap motel room every few days, so he can shower and all that.

JungleCat's picture

Richard II of England, speaking after striking down the 1381 Wat Tyler peasant rebellion:

Serfs ye were, and serfs ye are still. You will remain in bondage, not as before, but under conditions incomparably harsher.

Tom Servo's picture

All he needs to do is join a local fitness club ($15 a month) for their shower facilities, and do his laundry at a laundromat, save his money for a few months and GTFO of NYC in his Blazer and find a new job.  Wonder if he smokes cigarettes... lol


Stuck on Zero's picture

There are always bedrooms to rent for $500/month if you're decent.  If you're a pig no-one will share a place with you.  As a student I lived pretty well with ridiculously low budgets.

Jack Oliver's picture

Sure you can 'EXIST' !! That's what the homeless do - Most people want to 'LIVE' though and 'PROGRESS' in their LIVES !

NihilistZero's picture

@Tom Servo

You nailed it bro. I have total sympathy for the fact that metro residents rents are getting boned on rent through the FED's inflationary policies. Never the less quit being a fucking victim! If all the low income residents of NY gave that city the middle finger and GTFO, the city and the oligarchs would HAVE to pay higher wages to get people to commute in and do those jobs. Then again this is yet another example of why unfettered immigration is such a nightmare. Hard to negotiate when there's a peasant Mexican ready to slave away in your stead...

adr's picture

If you are single and make $32k, you aren't eligible for any assistance. Not rent, power, food, or heat. You can't file for EIC either. Oh and don't get sick because you don't qualify for medicaid.

After taxes you take in around $2200 a month. I made $34k fifteen years ago and I can assure you I know how to fill out a W2. If rent is $1700 for a shithole NYC studio apartment not much bigger than a decent SUV, you might have $500 left to live on for the whole month. If you have a car you are going to pay at least $200 a month to park it in a lot that will probably leave your car without wheels every night. If you have an apartment you will need to pay for utilities. Even going light you are looking at $100 a month.

Best case scenario, you've got $200 a month for food and whatever else you want to buy. Maybe $400 if you don't have a car. A single person can get away with $10 a day on food. Still that is $300+ and you don't really have it.

You are making $32k a year but living worse than 95% of the useless eaters on welfare not lifting a finger every day.

Taking a pay cut to $17k can net you close to $40k in benefits. The least being medicaid and rental assistance.


I know there are some good people in NY, but if a meteor hit that fucking city and wiped it off the planet, I'd cheer out loud and crack open a bottle of Johnnie Blue.

yogibear's picture

Even when they didn't have gabage strikes the place was full of garbage. Been their a few times. 

Even the rental car outfits act like their doing you a favor. Like their the customer and you should serve them.

NYC was one of the few places I was glade to leave.

GubbermintWorker's picture

Grammar, the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.......sorry, couldn't help it.

BarkingCat's picture

Eye don't sea watt your seeing. LOL

newbie vampire's picture

"Taking a pay cut to $17k can net you close to $40k in benefits."

The new american nightmare, work and live in poverty.

Paveway IV's picture

"...and makes $647 a week (before taxes and dues), assuming a rough 40% tax rate because he's an idiot that doesn't understand how to fill out a W2, he takes home $388 a week..."

I think you're a few gumballs short of a full load there, Tom. You're federal tax rate is high even if he didn't claim any deductions. But you've obviously never collected a paycheck anywhere out East. No human being making $647 a week takes home anything close to $388 a week. State, city tax. Mandatory obamacare or equivalent. Union dues. Unemployment and SS. So MAYBE he takes home $275/wk. Even if you have a junker car and park for free, it's still $15/wk for plates, tabs and insurance. That's assuming you don't drive it at all, otherwise $40/wk for a tank of gas. 

I'm not sure how far the remaining $220 a week would get you in the MST2000 Twin Cities, but in NYC that's about enough left for food, your weekly shower and a trip to the laundromat. Sorry, meth, McDonalds and cell phones are for people with way more money than that. The Wild Turkey is almost a requirement since you can't afford a gun to blow your brains out. 

Maybe someone from NY can fill us in here. What would a gross of $674 leave you for takehome?

Solosides's picture

You must be smoking meth if you think that its possible to live on $388 a week

Sudden Debt's picture

I'm pretty sure you can find cheaper housing in New Jersey or the Bronx. You do have to commute a bit more but hey! A lot of people spend 1 to 2 hours to work in their car!

And his clothes are dirty and he doesn't wash?


I think that guy has more personal problems and can't manage his money.

In Paris it's the same shit but people go to work on the train.

I call this entire article BULLSHIT!!

I've met people in New York that have never been away more then 10 blocks from their home!!


3K a month is very good money.

That guy should be fired on the spot.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

nwo is bringing the 3rd world to the western countries, and sudden debt is stuck on well they could move to nj.

it's not bull shit mr s debt..but it is coming to you over the southern EU border..the life boat is sinking as more and more climb in..of course the elite have large yachts to be safe and me not so much.

MarkGoldman's picture

3K a month is what it takes for me and the spouse to simply exist, and we live in the ozarks of Canada, don't have cable, have never been on a vacation in the 10 years we have been a couple, don't drink at all, no partying whatsoever, no motorized toys, and no oversized savings account. 

The last time oil was this cheap, gas was .79/liter. Today it is 1.20. And on and on, hydro rates have gone from 4.3/KWH to 16.1 peak...

I'm pining for my basement dwelling days of yesteryear, turn the heat up Ma!

Main_Sequence's picture
Main_Sequence (not verified) wendigo Sep 22, 2015 9:34 PM

(inside joke) What about $40 million? ;)

wendigo's picture
wendigo (not verified) Main_Sequence Sep 22, 2015 10:06 PM

I reconsidered the offer and realized the whole thing is absurd. 

Inexcye Solm's picture

That guy in the pic def doesn't make 33k a year at anything. And if your skillset only allows for 33k a year in NYC, then you'd be making less than 20 in Nashville, TN...still not making it. Stop with the directionless leftist articles, because what do you propose? Raising the minimum wage for labor a semi-trained simian would excell at? I thought this was a economically insightful website...

doctor10's picture

You haven't got an "economy" if it can't provide for food, clothing, and shelter for employees.

You might have institutionalized a slave state, however.

and NO-for all the little Stakhavovites out there-the answer is NOT MOAR local, state, and federal rules/regulations or taxes...or licensing...or "insurance requirements"....

SofaPapa's picture

This is the problem in a nutshell.

Control freaks' idea of how to solve a problem is to put a new person in the picture to solve it.

So, you have people performing [X] dollars worth of useful labor.  But they are now being "optimized" by some person whose job it is to tell them how to do their job.  Now the new "supervisory" person makes [X+5%] dollars for zero actual product.  Final step, make sure there are more of the "supervisors" than the people actually producing anything.

Is it any surprise this doesn't work?  Our economy is geared toward "getting ahead", and that has become defined by becoming one of the supervisors.  Checkmate.

FreedomGuy's picture

Wait till de Blasio finds out about this!

Will they still retire at full pay with pensions?

uhland62's picture

I would not think so. Aren't all the workplace reforms about people not having pensions any more? In Sydney, Australia, some people have realised they need lowly paid staff in the city, but they cannot afford the rents. Some sort of system was invented where they built small apartments for these people where they could stay at affordable rents for the time they were part of the lowly workforce in Sydney. I am disgusted about New York. I am not a bleeding heart but that goes too far.

tarabel's picture



I'd hire either Jeb or Hillary for that position.

I'd even throw in free leg irons and time off for extra whippings.

NeedtoSecede's picture

The beatings will continue until morale improves!

Hohum's picture

A good question asked.  It might also be applied to ask whether a sub-minimum wage job is worth having if the holder has to depend on food stamps to feed the family.

Skateboarder's picture

The key datapoint from this information is that adults with service or menial jobs can't even rent a simple apartment for themselves (not without the help of 6-7 roommates) in the same city of their service.

That's pretty fvcked for a place as big and dense as NYC.

general ambivalent's picture

But we can stop global warming if we pack ourselves into apartments/closets like sardines. Duck and cover and wait for critical mass, I say.

adr's picture

The key data point is that the people that live in the penthouses need to be hung from light poles, right fucking now.

People like Lloyd Blankfein need to be killed by slowly cutting them up with a mellon baller.

NihilistZero's picture

+1 for oligarch mellon balled torture. Hadn't ever thought or heard of that one. Way to be original bro!

oooBooo's picture

I believe that welfare programs reduce wages. With welfare someone can slightly underbid his labor and get the job over those who aren't on welfare. Welfare + slightly lower paying job > job. It is just the kind of thing big corporations love because it socializes their labor costs on to the taxpayers.

Professor Fate's picture

No big problem.  This guy just needs two or three more jobs.

Fate the Magnificent
"Push the Button, Max" 

Chuck Walla's picture

¡Union Si!


Berspankme's picture

It ain't the wages people. Fuck You Bernanke you cunt. I would love to find you living on the street some day. I'd beat you silly

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

There's your society of entitlement! Greedy poor bastards. Who do they think they are demanding the very basics of human existence?

Sanity Bear's picture

$2690 for a one-bedroom apartment a month is easy to afford when shared by two Wall Street employees or 39 illegal Mexicans.

Berspankme's picture

Where did that fucking Unicorn go with the skittles?

Skiprrrdog's picture

Its at my house dropping a bowl for us...its movie night...

Wahine's picture

I was googling my citys homeless shelters today and saw that most require you to have a job to stay there. I see lots of people in uniforms going to and from work there everyday. Section 8 waiting list has been closed for years so thats the new low income housing

Berspankme's picture

But Obie said everything is awesome