Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Homelessness

Homelessness

  • public outreach homes

    Mayor de Blasio with homeless outreach (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the city gradually reopens, we’ve seen many homeless New Yorkers kicked off the subways without being offered a safe, private alternative place to sleep. In some recent cases, we have seen police officers use unacceptable violence to drag homeless New Yorkers off the train. Fortunately, after repeated calls from homeless New Yorkers and advocates,

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  • unbrnded hra comm

    Homeless outreach workers approach a person in the subway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the city has been focused on the coronavirus crisis the attention concerning homeless people has been the growing number of them in the subway system, it is time we examined what is happening within the vast and very expensive shelter system that is costing $2 billion a year.

    As a former Deputy Commissioner with the New York City Department of Homeless Services I can tell you that there are three types of shelters. There is the single adult system, the adult

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  • perfect time houghton

    Mayor de Blasio makes a housing announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In the wake of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus shutdown, Mayor de Blasio must find budget savings anywhere he can, while still advancing his mission to make New York “the fairest big city” in America.  

    It won’t be easy. But the sudden drop in tax revenue should not stop the mayor from continuing to make one smart investment: creating new affordable housing.

    With the pandemic exposing the full extent of the city’s homeless crisis, now is

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  • flushing amid pandemic

    Governor Cuomo disinfects a subway car (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    The subway is New York’s circulatory system. If it doesn’t recover, New York won’t. But reopening the subway and the city means more than running more trains: It also means helping homeless New Yorkers who today have nowhere else safe to go.  

    That is because, as Governor Cuomo demonstrated, the city’s transit crisis is too entwined with its housing crisis for the MTA alone to bring the subway back. In response to the rising number of New Yorkers with no choice

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  • illegal hotel int

    Homeless New Yorkers must be cared for amid the coronavirus (photo: mayor's office)


    Last week we learned of Mayor de Blasio’s plan to move an additional 2,500 New Yorkers living in crowded shelters into hotel rooms by the end of April. While this may help some people escape the dangers of COVID-19, it simply does not meet the need.

    For tens of thousands of homeless New Yorkers, virtually all of the protocols to prevent contracting and spreading coronavirus are impossible. Homeless people, by definition,...

  • mbdb housing pres dev

    Mayor de Blasio at a supportive housing site (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    As our great city faces its most challenging crisis in the past 100 years, it has revealed to all of us how the city has radically changed in the past few decades.

    The virus has now put a spotlight on the critical shortage of hospital beds and medical equipment like ventilators. In fact New York City ICU bed capacity ranks in the bottom quarter nationally. If you have lived in the city for over 40 years, as I have, you likely recall how many hospitals have

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  • bellevue hos

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    What happens when a historic pandemic collides with an unprecedented housing crisis? The inextricable link between housing and health is now more apparent than ever as doctors both care for critically ill patients with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and simultaneously scramble to make plans for the most vulnerable in our society who simply have no place to isolate.

    Only a few weeks into this crisis, we have seen numerous patients recuperating from COVID-19 who linger for days in the hospital because of their need for

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  • census julie

    Efforts continue to get every New Yorker counted in 2020 Census (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City has reached a first-of-its kind agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau to transfer data on the city’s sheltered homeless population in a way that is intended to negate the need for census enumerators to perform their own separate count.

    Through the agreement, which was described to Gotham Gazette by an official from the city’s census office, the city will compile data on the roughly 60,000 people expected to be sheltered at around 650 sites in

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  • rafael sala holds

    A push for a new state homelessness-housing voucher continues (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    As a doctor in the hospital, I bear witness to some of the most severe downstream effects of health inequity in our community. In my field, I care for any person who presents to the emergency room and is then deemed too sick to be discharged. Through years of clinical service, I have come to appreciate housing as the most vital component of a person’s ability to stay well.

    More recently, research surrounding individuals experiencing homelessness has

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  • thomas baxter report

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Imagine the reaction if the number of deaths within a particular neighborhood or among a certain ethnic, racial, or religious group had gone up by 40% in one year! There would be demonstrations on the steps of City Hall and the Mayor would be forced to respond.

    Unfortunately, that is what has happened among the city's homeless population. Between July 2018 and June of 2019, 404 people considered homeless in New York City died, according to ...

  • commvoicesheard

    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City doesn’t have a comprehensive plan for the future. There is no single guiding document that determines how housing will be built over the next decade, for example, overlaid with a strategy for meeting infrastructure needs like transit options and school seats, with unifying visions for social services and economic development. But such planning should exist, according to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is making several moves toward the type of planning that has mostly

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  • spk co jo ste lev

    Council Member Steve Levin & Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    February 12, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The City Council's Plan to Reduce Homelessness

    ste levin wbaiCity Council Member Stephen Levin joined the show to discuss the City Council's new report and plan to reduce homelessness in New York City. Levin, chair of the Council committee with oversight of

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  • cojo adv

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Thursday released a plan that he said takes a “smarter, more strategic, holistic, long-term” approach to addressing the city’s homelessness crisis, seeking to end what he called the siloed policies of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and calling for more funding from the city and state to both help homeless individuals find permanent housing and prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

    “This is, without exaggeration, a humanitarian crisis in the wealthiest city in

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  • unbranded hra

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It was early evening on a street corner on the Upper West Side. A young woman rushed up to me and asked for money so she could buy some dinner.  She was flushed, out of breath, and pregnant. Stories like this are a frequent occurrence for any New Yorker who walks the streets and takes the subways.  

    This young woman said she’d had a fight with her boyfriend and he’d kicked her out of their apartment. She had just been placed in a shelter and didn’t have supplies or food. Despite my desire, knowledge and

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  • hud sec julian castro mmv

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The city’s homelessness crisis is well-documented and deeply troubling, including far too many people sleeping on the streets and in the subways. If it seems like there are more and more people in those situations, it is because there are: the estimated number jumped 23% from 2018 to 2019, based on the one-night winter HOPE Count, to about 3,500 in total.

    The city’s efforts to reduce the street population have mostly failed. Nothing emphasizes this failure more than the recent murder of four

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  • may townhall residents

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio enters his seventh year in office, on the heels of a failed presidential bid and at a time when his political clout appears at its nadir, he faces many major challenges and big decisions ahead.

    2020, the next-to-last year of his second and final term, begins with a focus on public safety, including recent spikes in anti-Semitic hate crimes, murders, and byciclist fatalities, as well as how the city is adjusting to new state-mandated bail reforms that the mayor has

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  • chris quinn cm annoace

    Christine Quinn (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Christine Quinn is frustrated. Quinn, formerly the Speaker of the New York City Council and currently the CEO of Win, a nonprofit that is the largest provider of shelter and permanent supportive housing to families in New York, believes much more can be done to support homeless New Yorkers.

    The city continues to grapple with an immense homelessness crisis, with more than 60,000 people in city shelters each night, roughly 3,000 people living on the streets or in the subways, and several

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  • mbdb flcm mayor

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Last week the City of Newark sued New York City over New York’s placement of more than a thousand homeless individuals and families in Newark, through the city’s Special One Time Assistance (SOTA) program. Under the program, New York City employed private brokers to find homes for the families in New Jersey and elsewhere, and, without checking to see if the homes were habitable, paid a full year’s rent in advance and left families to live there. The result was thousands of families sent out of the city into homes that were

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  • city council cm raf salamanca

    Council Member Salamanca (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A year ago, a homeless woman confronted Mayor de Blasio during his gym workout in Park Slope to ask why the city doesn’t set aside more apartments for homeless people. The incident and a video of it in which the mayor refused to talk with the woman, Nathylin Flowers Adesegun, were widely ...

  • christine quinn wbai600

    (photo: @WINNYC_ORG)


    November 13, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Christine Quinn on Homelessness, Making Government Work, & Her Future

    christine quinn 150pxFormer City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, now the CEO of Win, one of the city's largest homeless shelter providers, joined the show to discuss the city's homelessness crisis, Win's work, broader government issues,

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  • mtapd grad

    (photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin)


    MTA Chair and CEO Pat Foye says the transit authority’s operating budget is in “dire” condition and independent budget watchdogs are alarmed its deficit is growing to unmanageable levels. Citizens Budget Commission estimates the MTA will be $740 million in the red in 2023 -- and this does not include new debt payments for the new, massive $51.5+ billion 2020-2024 capital plan. Separately, NYPD data shows subway crime is down 3% from

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  • mayor bdb dev

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    It’s well-known that homelessness in New York City continues at crisis levels. Roughly 60,000 men, women, and children -- near record-highs, down just slightly from recent years -- are sleeping in the city's homeless shelter system every night. Another estimated 3,500 poor souls are living on the streets and subways mostly because they fear the crime that occurs in the city shelters.

    It has gotten so bad in the subway system, which according to the MTA has seen a 23% increase in homeless people present, that Governor Cuomo has

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  • vocal ny housing presser oct 2019

    Friday's press conference (photo: Vocal New York)


    A coalition of housing rights advocates and elected officials is seeking a “new deal” for homeless people living in New York City, as one activist put it at a rally on Friday.

    Members of the coalition gathered in front of City Hall to point out what they believe to be shortcomings of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing agenda and the dangers of celebrating too early the plan to shutter the Rikers Island jails. The jails are a cornerstone of the city’s criminal justice system that the advocates say

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  • homelessness rally

    The authors and others at a rally (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    More than 61,000 men, women, and children will sleep in New York City shelters tonight, and this historic homelessness crisis will continue to devastate the lives of even more people unless Mayor de Blasio embraces the common sense plans that we have put forward from a City Council office and the Coalition for the Homeless, respectively.

    The record number of homeless New Yorkers will continue to reach new highs every year, according to the latest report from the Coalition. In stark contrast to Mayor

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  • bellevue intake wbai600

    Steve Banks, right, with the Mayor and First Lady (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    September 18, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The City's Fight Against Homelessness

    dss commissioner banks wbai 150Steve Banks, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services and Mayor de Blasio's homelessness czar, joined the show to discuss the city's fight against

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