Considering the fact that approximately 50,000 people spend the night in NYC homeless shelters, and there are more people languishing on the waiting list for public housing than there are total public housing units in NYC, it's safe to say that this city is currently going through its worst homelessness epidemic in decades. And the NY Post just realized that today! They have a report all about the increased amount of homeless people on the subways—and they're able to connect that with the stop-and-frisk backlash they've been touting for months. Don't they know this is all just a sign of a vibrant economy?!

The amount of homeless has increased 13% since last year, according to the Department of Homeless Services. In connection with that, the number of panhandler/peddler arrests in the subway have increased over the past year, with 409 arrested so far in 2013 versus just 395 in 2012. But because there have been a dramatic decrease in those arrests from 2011, when there was an enormous 930 arrests—which were mostly due to a quality-of-life initiative Operation Moving Target which is no longer in play.

So how does this all connect to stop-and-frisk? The Post turns to Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who chairs the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, for the money quote: “Police are much more hesitant to be proactive and approach people who may be committing low-level crimes because of anti-NYPD sentiment that’s been growing in political circles,” he told them. “If you are too afraid to approach, then crimes like loitering, open containers and aggressive panhandling will go unpunished.”

Yeah, this is because cops are afraid to arrest panhandlers, and not because there's an alarming lack of affordable housing (the waiting list for affordable housing has soared to 270,000 people; the total amount of occupied public housing units is 178,900), there's no room in housing shelters (homeless families make up 78% of people staying in the city's administrative shelters, a number that has risen by 73% since Bloomberg took office), and what new housing shelters there are are routinely protested by their communities.

But hey, the Post has always been known to show the utmost sensitivity when it comes to homeless issues, so we're sure they didn't mean anything by this. And it's not like they ended their piece with a random quote about the subways turning into "Mad Max" because of homeless people, right? Oh wait...

“I believe this can turn into ‘Mad Max’ down here,” said Maurice Solomon of The Bronx. “It’s a safe haven — it’s warm for them, and people give them food.”

Shove all that crap out of your brain by reading this week's excellent New Yorker feature on homelessness in the city.