Law: Off the Street and Out of the Cold

A young New York lawyer fights to shelter the homeless

Billy is 42, a full decade younger than his unshaven face and filthy, ragged clothing make him look. He has no home.

Last winter he attempted to escape the cold by sleeping at the Palace, a Bowery hotel frequented by his fellow street people, but he stayed only one night. "That's a hole," he says. "The one time I stayed there, they tried to set some guy on fire." Billy (he does not give his last name) spent most of last winter searching for shelter—in Penn Station, in the steam tunnels...

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