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Letter: New mayor must help homeless

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio speaks

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio speaks to the media after he delivered the keynote address at the New York City Summit on Children, organized by the Earth Institute of Columbia University, in Manhattan. (Nov. 25, 2013) Credit: Charles Eckert

I remember a time when I was homeless after the Vietnam War. I had served in the Navy and lived on the street for a time, but was saved by the kindness of a stranger who gave me shelter ["Court nixes city's shelter requirements," News, Nov. 27].

It is reported that this winter will be a cold and bitter one and will be very hard for anyone living on the street. I lived through a bitter winter long ago on the streets of Hempstead.

New York City's homelessness numbers have jumped 13 percent since January. Homelessness has increased, especially among families, which I find sad indeed.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio faces a disturbing issue he has promised to address. In the city, the shelter population has reached record levels not seen since the Great Depression.

De Blasio must succeed where Mayor Michael Bloomberg has failed.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks Village