In an attempt to cut the costs of running its homeless shelters, New York City is buying one-way tickets for homeless families to leave the city
. Since 2007, over 550 families have been sent to 24 states and five continents. Officials say that there are no limits on where a family can be sent, and all they need to participate in the program is a relative to agree to take them in. Arnold S. Cohen, the president and chief executive of the Partnership for the Homeless, an advocacy group in New York, says, "The city is engaged in cosmetics. What we're doing is passing the problem of homelessness to another city. We're taking people from a shelter bed here to the living room couch of another family. Essentially, this family is still homeless."