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New York is facing a potential explosion in homelessness

Before losing her job this past March, Dawn Miller would spend her entire paycheck on rent each month.

She’s lived in her Flatbush, Brooklyn apartment for more than a decade, and until the coronavirus pandemic hit, had been working at a food kiosk at Brooklyn College. She hasn’t paid rent since being laid off, and though she’s been able to stay in her home though a state moratorium on evictions, she’s facing thousands of dollars in back rent she says she can’t possibly pay back on her own. She’s unsure if her old job will return and hasn’t found a new one.

“It’s very hard to sleep at night,” Miller, 56, said in an interview. “I try not to worry but I’m deeply concerned because I don’t want to be homeless.”

Miller is one of tens of thousands of New York City residents who are behind on months of rent due to the crisis and could lose their homes if a significant amount of government assistance doesn’t materialize quickly.

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