The unflinching, prodigious Andrea Elliott New York Times story on child homelessness in NYC is generating a lot of talk already and I bet you've all seen it already, but in case you haven't, here it is. The story is centered on an 11-year-old girl:
Her name, Dasani, speaks of a certain reach. The bottled water had come to Brooklyn’s bodegas just before she was born, catching the fancy of her mother, who could not afford such indulgences. It hinted at a different, upwardly mobile clientele, a set of newcomers who over the next decade would transform the borough.
Dasani’s own neighborhood, Fort Greene, is now one of gentrification’s gems. Her family lives in the Auburn Family Residence, a decrepit city-run shelter for the homeless. It is a place where mold creeps up walls and roaches swarm, where feces and vomit plug communal toilets, where sexual predators have roamed and small children stand guard for their single mothers outside filthy showers.
It is no place for children. Yet Dasani is among 280 children at the shelter. Beyond its walls, she belongs to a vast and invisible tribe of more than 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression, in the most unequal metropolis in America.
It's a long one (five parts; it might eat the remainder of your workday), but it's the length and the level of detail and nuance in the reporting that do justice for the dizzying subject. [NYTimes]