NEW YORK - New York City is buying one-way plane tickets for homeless families to leave the city, and dozens of the families have landed in Georgia and South Carolina.
The New York Times is reporting that it's part of a Bloomberg administration program to keep the homeless out of the expensive shelter system, which costs $36,000 a year per family. More than 550 families have left the city since 2007. All it takes is for a relative to agree to take them in.
Families have been sent to 24 states and five continents. While Puerto Rico is the most popular destination, Georgia is now home to 38 of the families and South Carolina was the final destination for 31 families relocated by the program.
Florida has taken in 100 families and 47 more are calling North Carolina home, giving the southeastern United States the vast majority of the relocated homeless families.
The city employs a travel agency for domestic travel and the Department of Homeless Services handles international travel.
City officials say there are no limits on where a family can be sent and families can reject the offer.
City officials say none of the relocated families have returned to city shelters.