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When the hurricane hit New York City, my first thought was about the homeless, the most vulnerable population of the city. More than 50,000 people, including 20,000 children, experience homelessness in the city every night. The city has not seen this many homeless children since the Great Depression and the increase in the homeless population, in general, has skyrocketed during the Bloomberg Administration.

As I watched the news reports of the hurricane, I increasingly became concerned about the residents of the city who would soon become homeless due to fire and flooding. We all were in shock when over a hundred homes were destroyed in Breezy Point, Queens and we are struggling with the fact that so many other people are still without electricity, running water or heat. I pray that the Mayor and his team take care of those who have been living without any safety nets, those who were homeless prior to the storm, and quickly help those who have become homeless as a result of the storm.

Yesterday, I spoke off-the-cuff to a TMZ reporter about my concern for the homeless during this very difficult time for our city. I only said what I said because I know often times during crises, the homeless are left to fend for themselves. I hope this time, we take care of them and value them as equal citizens of our great city.

~Russell Simmons

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