Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics as well as news on public safety, transportation, education, finance and more. http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/coalition-for-the-homeless 2017-10-18T03:32:56+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com Mixed Bag in Latest Government Efforts Fighting Homelessness, Providers Say 2016-06-24T04:00:00+00:00 2016-06-24T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6411:mixed-bag-in-latest-government-efforts-fighting-homelessness-advocates-say Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/coalition_for_the_homeless_protest.jpg" alt="coalition for the homeless protest" width="600" height="400" /></p> <hr /> <p>On Thursday, June 23, the two leaders of Coalition for the Homeless, Mary Brosnahan and Shelly Nortz, talked with Ben Max of Gotham Gazette and Jarrett Murphy of City Limits about where things stand in terms of city and state efforts to curb homelessness. The discussion centered around the recent end of legislative session in Albany and the fate of nearly $2 billion in state money dedicated, but not released, for homelessness prevention and affordable housing. City efforts to improve homelessness prevention, shelter conditions, and management of services were also a key part of the discussion, including assessing the de Blasio administration as it works to correct its record on those subjects.</p> <p>Listen to our conversation:</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/270557367&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%" height="250" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/coalition_for_the_homeless_protest.jpg" alt="coalition for the homeless protest" width="600" height="400" /></p> <hr /> <p>On Thursday, June 23, the two leaders of Coalition for the Homeless, Mary Brosnahan and Shelly Nortz, talked with Ben Max of Gotham Gazette and Jarrett Murphy of City Limits about where things stand in terms of city and state efforts to curb homelessness. The discussion centered around the recent end of legislative session in Albany and the fate of nearly $2 billion in state money dedicated, but not released, for homelessness prevention and affordable housing. City efforts to improve homelessness prevention, shelter conditions, and management of services were also a key part of the discussion, including assessing the de Blasio administration as it works to correct its record on those subjects.</p> <p>Listen to our conversation:</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/270557367&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%" height="250" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> Time for the Mayor and the Governor to Work Together 2016-01-06T02:55:32+00:00 2016-01-06T02:55:32+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6065:time-for-the-mayor-and-the-governor-to-work-together Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/12181475174_8455aacfbb_z.jpg" alt="de blasio cuomo smiles" height="399" width="600" /></p> <p>De Blasio and Cuomo, via the Governor's Office</p> <hr /> <p>They are elected to lead millions of people, to handle billions of taxpayer dollars, and to develop effective public policy. To be as effective as possible, they must work together.</p> <p>Yet, they barely speak to each other and won't even say each other's name in public.</p> <p>There is simply no way that the ongoing feud between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio isn't hurting New Yorkers. The behavior of the two men - New York City's top two elected leaders - is beneath the esteem of their offices.</p> <p>A leading advocate, Mary Brosnahan of Coalition for the Homeless, put it perfectly in <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2016/01/8586782/cuomo-explains-his-new-homeless-policy-hints-more-come" target="_blank">an interview</a> with Politico New York: "They're both very smart people, let's just lower the testosterone and ramp up the cooperation. It just kills me to see homeless New Yorkers being played like pawns in the middle of it."</p> <p>Lately, it has been homeless people as pawns, but it has been all New Yorkers at some point over the past two years.</p> <p>Sure, the feud can be the source of fun for observers, even for the governor and his team, it seems. But, there are legitimate policy issues, livelihoods, and lives at stake. It's well past time for Cuomo and de Blasio to work together more closely. And there are steps, beyond the recent dinner they shared, that can easily be taken - if they care enough to try.</p> <p>The already toxic relationship took a turn for the worse when, in a now-infamous airing of grievances, de Blasio criticized the governor to the press at length on June 30. Remarkable for several reasons, de Blasio's words seemed to indicate he was giving up on the prospects of a strong working relationship with his former boss and longtime friend.</p> <p>Still, in November, Cuomo defied what observers were seeing when <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2015/11/cuomo-press-focusing-on-soap-opera-with-de-blasio/" target="_blank">he said</a>, "The relationship is good...This is a professional relationship."</p> <p>The governor added what appears to be nothing short of a lie, saying: "We coordinate the best we can."</p> <p>Perhaps Cuomo's statement was true if by "can" he was implying 'given the fact that we are both more concerned with our petty feud than with working for the people of New York.'</p> <p>When it has come to a series of issues: Ebola, the MTA, Legionnaires' Disease, homelessness, and more, the city and state have clearly not been coordinating "the best" they could.</p> <p>Of course members of the two administrations talk with each other all the time and coordinate on a variety of public policy matters - there are major day-to-day operations that necessitate this. But, it is abundantly clear that the collaboration is not as strong as it could or should be.</p> <p>Beyond beginning to speak more regularly by phone and in person, de Blasio and Cuomo could start regularly appearing at events together. Giving the semblance of a working relationship would at least instill more confidence that the two leaders have one and are not being negligent. A little bit of casual conversation, as the two had while awaiting the Pope in September, can only help repair the relationship.</p> <p>Cuomo and de Blasio don't have to immediately hold joint announcements, they could simply share space when they're due to speak at the same event, something it appears they've avoided with intent.</p> <p>But, they could hold joint events immediately and start to move beyond The Feud. De Blasio is set to make a minimum wage announcement Wednesday - Cuomo should be there and have a speaking role. Then, de Blasio should be similarly welcomed to Cuomo's next minimum wage rally in the city (he's been conspicuously absent from several). Also Wednesday, Cuomo is <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/gov-cuomo-to-back-a-penn-station-overhaul-1452030404" target="_blank">expected to announce</a> a renovation plan for Penn Station - de Blasio should be there, not absent like he was when Cuomo announced plans for a new LaGaurdia Airport.</p> <p>The two Wednesday events are, of course, scheduled for the same time: 2 p.m.</p> <p>On Thursday, de Blasio is set to sign an executive order mandating paid parental leave for some city employees. Cuomo should be there, too, and he should use the occasion to praise the mayor and explain his intention to push a statewide paid family leave policy.</p> <p>Though they have very different styles and somewhat different political philosophies, Cuomo and de Blasio actually agree on quite a bit and could find many ways to truly work together. The two should soon hold a joint announcement after coming to a New York/New York IV supportive housing deal.</p> <p>They missed a good opportunity to show a united front when they came to an agreement on MTA capital plan funding in October after a prolonged and too-public dispute.</p> <p>But, as they go down a similar road on homelessness, wouldn't it be refreshing if early in the new year Cuomo and de Blasio could coordinate policy and hold a joint press conference to explain how they are going to work together to improve shelter conditions, get people off the streets and into housing, and keep people from becoming homeless in the first place?</p> <p>Like you, I am not holding my breath for such an announcement or for any of the joint appearances outlined above.</p> <p>As the New York Times editorial board <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/20/opinion/tackling-the-homeless-crisis-without-mr-cuomo.html" target="_blank">wrote</a> in late November, "In a better world, the mayor and governor would be mutually supportive allies working together to ease the suffering of tens of thousands of homeless residents of the state's most important city. But in reality, the two men are stuck in a malfunctioning relationship that has turned once-routine city-state partnerships and problem-solving exercises into an unusually fraught psychodrama."</p> <p>On Monday, the mayor was faced with a barrage of questions from reporters about the homelessness-related executive order the governor had issued with little warning to the de Blasio administration. It has become something of a pattern, state action without coordinating with the city, the governor showing the mayor who is in charge.</p> <p>"We are very willing to work with the state," de Blasio said in response to a question about why he and his old colleague couldn't simply get together and hash out joint homelessness policy.</p> <p>Being willing to work together is very different, obviously, from proactively seeking opportunities to mend fences and move forward for the good of the people of the city and state.</p> <p>***<br />by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/TweetBenMax" target="_blank">@tweetBenMax</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/12181475174_8455aacfbb_z.jpg" alt="de blasio cuomo smiles" height="399" width="600" /></p> <p>De Blasio and Cuomo, via the Governor's Office</p> <hr /> <p>They are elected to lead millions of people, to handle billions of taxpayer dollars, and to develop effective public policy. To be as effective as possible, they must work together.</p> <p>Yet, they barely speak to each other and won't even say each other's name in public.</p> <p>There is simply no way that the ongoing feud between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio isn't hurting New Yorkers. The behavior of the two men - New York City's top two elected leaders - is beneath the esteem of their offices.</p> <p>A leading advocate, Mary Brosnahan of Coalition for the Homeless, put it perfectly in <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2016/01/8586782/cuomo-explains-his-new-homeless-policy-hints-more-come" target="_blank">an interview</a> with Politico New York: "They're both very smart people, let's just lower the testosterone and ramp up the cooperation. It just kills me to see homeless New Yorkers being played like pawns in the middle of it."</p> <p>Lately, it has been homeless people as pawns, but it has been all New Yorkers at some point over the past two years.</p> <p>Sure, the feud can be the source of fun for observers, even for the governor and his team, it seems. But, there are legitimate policy issues, livelihoods, and lives at stake. It's well past time for Cuomo and de Blasio to work together more closely. And there are steps, beyond the recent dinner they shared, that can easily be taken - if they care enough to try.</p> <p>The already toxic relationship took a turn for the worse when, in a now-infamous airing of grievances, de Blasio criticized the governor to the press at length on June 30. Remarkable for several reasons, de Blasio's words seemed to indicate he was giving up on the prospects of a strong working relationship with his former boss and longtime friend.</p> <p>Still, in November, Cuomo defied what observers were seeing when <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2015/11/cuomo-press-focusing-on-soap-opera-with-de-blasio/" target="_blank">he said</a>, "The relationship is good...This is a professional relationship."</p> <p>The governor added what appears to be nothing short of a lie, saying: "We coordinate the best we can."</p> <p>Perhaps Cuomo's statement was true if by "can" he was implying 'given the fact that we are both more concerned with our petty feud than with working for the people of New York.'</p> <p>When it has come to a series of issues: Ebola, the MTA, Legionnaires' Disease, homelessness, and more, the city and state have clearly not been coordinating "the best" they could.</p> <p>Of course members of the two administrations talk with each other all the time and coordinate on a variety of public policy matters - there are major day-to-day operations that necessitate this. But, it is abundantly clear that the collaboration is not as strong as it could or should be.</p> <p>Beyond beginning to speak more regularly by phone and in person, de Blasio and Cuomo could start regularly appearing at events together. Giving the semblance of a working relationship would at least instill more confidence that the two leaders have one and are not being negligent. A little bit of casual conversation, as the two had while awaiting the Pope in September, can only help repair the relationship.</p> <p>Cuomo and de Blasio don't have to immediately hold joint announcements, they could simply share space when they're due to speak at the same event, something it appears they've avoided with intent.</p> <p>But, they could hold joint events immediately and start to move beyond The Feud. De Blasio is set to make a minimum wage announcement Wednesday - Cuomo should be there and have a speaking role. Then, de Blasio should be similarly welcomed to Cuomo's next minimum wage rally in the city (he's been conspicuously absent from several). Also Wednesday, Cuomo is <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/gov-cuomo-to-back-a-penn-station-overhaul-1452030404" target="_blank">expected to announce</a> a renovation plan for Penn Station - de Blasio should be there, not absent like he was when Cuomo announced plans for a new LaGaurdia Airport.</p> <p>The two Wednesday events are, of course, scheduled for the same time: 2 p.m.</p> <p>On Thursday, de Blasio is set to sign an executive order mandating paid parental leave for some city employees. Cuomo should be there, too, and he should use the occasion to praise the mayor and explain his intention to push a statewide paid family leave policy.</p> <p>Though they have very different styles and somewhat different political philosophies, Cuomo and de Blasio actually agree on quite a bit and could find many ways to truly work together. The two should soon hold a joint announcement after coming to a New York/New York IV supportive housing deal.</p> <p>They missed a good opportunity to show a united front when they came to an agreement on MTA capital plan funding in October after a prolonged and too-public dispute.</p> <p>But, as they go down a similar road on homelessness, wouldn't it be refreshing if early in the new year Cuomo and de Blasio could coordinate policy and hold a joint press conference to explain how they are going to work together to improve shelter conditions, get people off the streets and into housing, and keep people from becoming homeless in the first place?</p> <p>Like you, I am not holding my breath for such an announcement or for any of the joint appearances outlined above.</p> <p>As the New York Times editorial board <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/20/opinion/tackling-the-homeless-crisis-without-mr-cuomo.html" target="_blank">wrote</a> in late November, "In a better world, the mayor and governor would be mutually supportive allies working together to ease the suffering of tens of thousands of homeless residents of the state's most important city. But in reality, the two men are stuck in a malfunctioning relationship that has turned once-routine city-state partnerships and problem-solving exercises into an unusually fraught psychodrama."</p> <p>On Monday, the mayor was faced with a barrage of questions from reporters about the homelessness-related executive order the governor had issued with little warning to the de Blasio administration. It has become something of a pattern, state action without coordinating with the city, the governor showing the mayor who is in charge.</p> <p>"We are very willing to work with the state," de Blasio said in response to a question about why he and his old colleague couldn't simply get together and hash out joint homelessness policy.</p> <p>Being willing to work together is very different, obviously, from proactively seeking opportunities to mend fences and move forward for the good of the people of the city and state.</p> <p>***<br />by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/TweetBenMax" target="_blank">@tweetBenMax</a></p> Proven Homelessness-Fighting Program Loses State Funding, Faces Uncertain Future 2015-06-02T21:45:50+00:00 2015-06-02T21:45:50+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5749:proven-homelessness-fighting-program-loses-state-funding-faces-uncertain-future Super User <p><img alt="Cuomo church appearance" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/17164132084_b0a9c535eb_z.jpg" height="376" width="600" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Gov. Cuomo (photo:&nbsp;Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)</span>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>More than 60,000 people will spend the night in a New York City homeless shelter tonight. Estimates suggest roughly one-third struggle with untreated mental illness, many of whom find themselves trapped in a turbulent cycle of life including jail, psychiatric wards, homeless shelters and living on the streets.</p> <p><img alt="Cuomo church appearance" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/17164132084_b0a9c535eb_z.jpg" height="376" width="600" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Gov. Cuomo (photo:&nbsp;Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)</span>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>More than 60,000 people will spend the night in a New York City homeless shelter tonight. Estimates suggest roughly one-third struggle with untreated mental illness, many of whom find themselves trapped in a turbulent cycle of life including jail, psychiatric wards, homeless shelters and living on the streets.</p>