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Family in NYT Story Has Received $500,000 in Benefits Since 2000

f a five-part opus in The New York Times by Andrea Elliott is to believed, we live in a hard-hearted city. But if you read closely, it suggests just the opposite.

Begin with the family at the center of this story. The mother, father and eight kids aren’t really homeless at all. True, they live in housing meant for “homeless families.” But their 540-square-foot unit gives them a solid roof over their heads, in addition to city-provided meals and services.

One city official tells us Elliott and the Times ignored many key facts about the family and that its situation is “atypical.”

“New York City provides families in need, including this one, with subsidized health care, child care, shelter, job-training, counseling and placement services,” as well as cash assistance, a spokesman said.

For this family, shelter, rental assistance and food stamps alone have added up to nearly half a million dollars since 2000. In addition, Medicaid covers health care. Even so, the parents have consistently failed to meet basic eligibility requirements. . .

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