New York City has come up with a unique and expensive way to deal with its homeless population: Buy them a one-way ticket out of town to live elsewhere. So far, according to a New York Post investigation, more than 12,000 homeless people have been sent to 373 towns across the United States to places as far flung as Hawaii and as close as Gulfport and Gautier, Mississippi.
That was the first I heard of it when you called me with that issue," said Gautier mayor Phil Torjusen.
After learning Gautier was on the list of destinations, the city's mayor expressed real concerns about the program.
"Are they keeping tabs on everything or are they just let's get the worst of the homeless and send them somewhere else," said Torjusen.
Taxpayers aren't just on the hook for airfare, they're also paying rent for a full year for more than 12,000 homeless people, shelling out $89 million on rent alone since August 2017 when the program started, according to the New York Post.
The program has been fraught with problems -- slum lords gaming the system, homeless people sent to live in uninhabitable homes and smaller cities stuck dealing with hundreds of new homeless families.
"We have to think about feeding them, clothing them, we have to think about the kids that are in the school," said Mount Vernon, New York Mayor Andre Wallace.
New York's state Senate has launched an investigation into this program, and leaders from other cities have also asked the Department of Justice to look into it. CLICK HERE to view the mapping where these homeless people have been sent.