Worrying about how much money exactly ConEd owes folks in Queens (three months free electricity sounds nice to us) must seem like small potatoes if you don't even have a home or business to power in the first place. We mention this because for the first time in three years the number of people who are in just such an unenviable position is on the rise. "As of Wednesday, there were 8,424 families - representing 24,776 individuals - in city shelters, about 5 percent more than last July's figure of 8,046." To see the actual daily report click here (PDF).

While the number of homeless in the city is still down 19 percent from its 2003 peak, that's still an unhappy trend. Especially as there are always more homeless then the numbers which make it into the city's shelters and, therefore, their counts.

To respond to the uptick, the Department of Homeless Services has opened 120 new shelter rooms, which at a cost of "$66 to $98 a night" is a minimum of $237,600 in city funding. The number of homeless historically always rises in the summer months when children are out of school and the temperatures can make crowded apartments miserable. We hope for everyone's sake that the numbers start going back down soon, but if not at least asshole Gregg Singer is soon be providing more shelter for them.

Track 17 by a girl named Rock via Contribute.