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Brooklyn family looks for affordable housing after spending year in 4 shelters

Posted at 6:46 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 18:46:53-05

MIDTOWN, Manhattan — Its been a tough year for Scherry Barnett and her 15-year-old daughter Schania.

They are staying at The Stewart Hotel, a shelter for homeless families in Midtown.

“I’ve been waiting a year in the shelter system to find housing,” said Barnett.

They are the faces of the homeless in New York. They have lived in four different shelters this year. From the Bronx to Far Rockaway and now Midtown. She says the system is broken.

Barnett has a voucher for Section 8 housing. She knows there are so many other families just like her struggling. What makes it more difficult is that her daughter needs a wheelchair accessible apartment.

Schania is an extraordinary 10th grader who loves music. Ariana Grande is her favorite singer. Someday, she wants to be a lawyer.

Right now, however, she has just one wish.

“I want a new apartment. And my own room. I’ll paint it pink, my favorite color,” said Barnett.

New York City's Department of Social Services responded to PIX11 News request for comment.

“We cannot provide case-specific details due to client confidentiality," they said in a statement. "Together with the nonprofit service provider, we continue to work closely with this family, as we do with all our clients, to identify/offer and secure appropriate permanent housing opportunities.”

A NYCHA spokesperson similarly responded.

”NYCHA staff reached out to Ms. Barnett so she can learn about the additional housing opportunities available to her within NYCHA’s LLC properties. She was not available but we left a message and will continue to reach out in order to help her.”
If you can help Barrett or have a story reach out to Monica Morales at