NYC eyes shelter fees for working homeless

THE BRONX - (AP) - New York City plans to charge the working homeless for living in shelters starting next fall.

At the same time, it wants to require more families to get jobs before qualifying for rent subsidies. That would need state approval.

The shelter fee is already a state requirement. The city enacted it briefly last year. State Sen. Daniel L. Squadron, a Brooklyn and Manhattan Democrat, says it should be blocked.

Legal Aid Society attorney Steven Banks says families should be encouraged to "save their meager wages" so they can afford to leave shelters.

Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs says the shelter fees would be modest. Says Gibbs: "Open-ended handouts" don't work.

There are about 8,500 families with children in city shelters.

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