New York City major Michael Bloomberg has instated a "city program to send homeless families out of New York on planes, trains and buses . . . [which] 'saves the taxpayers of New York City an enormous amount of money' (NYT). Mr. Bloomberg admitted that he didn't "'know, when they get to other places, whether they find jobs. . . . It may be an easier place for them. If we don't [send them] -- we either have two choices. We can do this program or pay an enormous amount of money daily to provide housing'" (NYT). "It costs the city about $36,000 a year to provide shelter for a homeless family. The average stay in a shelter is about nine months" (NYT). Mr. Bloomberg also said, "'The average cost is trivial. . . . Most go by bus. Very few go overseas, very few go long distances. Bus is the normal way we pay for transportation, rather than air'" (NYC). Apparently Mr. Bloomberg has a math issue. "'In fact, the most common mode of travel for families is air, not bus. Forty-eight percent travel by airplane; 37 percent by bus; and 15 percent by train, according to city data" (NYT). Also, although "very few go overseas," the homeless "are flown to Paris ($6,322), Orlando ($858.40), Johannesberg ($2,550.70), or most frequently, San Juan ($484.20)" (NYT).
If approximately 74 people travel to San Juan, the cost of their tickets is equal to the amount of money used to run the shelter system. If the average family consists of four people, eighteen families traveling to San Juan is equal to the amount of money required to run the shelters. Fourteen flights to Johannesberg would rack up the cost to the yearly cost of shelters, and only slightly fewer than six flights to Paris equal the yearly cost. Considering the fact that this program has been in use since 2007, I have the feeling that more than 74 people yearly have taken advantage of traveling to San Juan.
Also, in Africa cities round up the homeless on buses and ship them out to the middle of nowhere. At least, that's what "Xala" taught me.