The number of families sleeping in city homeless shelters was at an all-time high last year, and it appears the city's still struggling to keep up with expanded need. In fact, earlier this week, city officials were forced to house several homeless families in an intake center's office building when they were unable to find room for them in a designated shelter.

NBC News reports that an undisclosed number of families slept on chairs in the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) office in The Bronx on Monday night. Though the intake center is not intended to house families, a spokesperson from the DHS tells us, "We are reviewing a rare occurrence when five families did stay overnight at our intake center while we processed their late arrival applications. These families were thoroughly assisted and provided with a safe environment at the facility and were placed in appropriate shelter hours later.”

This incident appears to be isolated—city officials say the shelter system had 90 units that needed to be cleaned on Monday night, and that the families arrived too late to be processed and placed immediately. But it is just another example of a much larger problem, one that sees homeless families flooding the shelter system at an unprecedented rate. According to statistics from Coalition for the Homeless, 56,454 people slept in homeless shelters each night, 23,979 of whom were children. In August, non-profit homeless shelter operator Aguila, Inc. threatened 500 families in The Bronx with eviction, and a few removals have since occurred.

The city has even had to resort to housing seven families at the Auburn Family Residence in Fort Greene, even after the de Blasio administration called for the removal of 400 families from said shelter over its "deplorable" conditions. These families were only at Auburn for one night each, but it's clear the system is overwhelmed. The de Blasio administration has been moving towards implementing rent subsidy programs that would reduce the number of families sleeping in shelters, potentially alleviating the system of as many as 13,600 people.