Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration detailed plans on May 19, 2014 to expand and create what is described as the largest and most proven homelessness prevention program in the nation. The plan, announced by Commissioner Gilbert Taylor at the budget hearing before the New York City Council, focuses on reducing homelessness, transitioning homeless families from shelter into permanent housing, and improving shelter conditions.
Catholic Charities, long a leader in preventing homelessness and serving the homeless, supports this plan.
“With today’s announcement, the Mayor has taken an important and necessary step in addressing this crisis,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director, The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. “This multi-faceted plan includes programmatic and funding commitments to protect families from losing their homes, while creating housing opportunities for those who currently have little recourse but to spend their nights in shelters. It contains concrete solutions to help vulnerable populations.”
Specifically, the plan:
• Proposes creation of two rent subsidy plans that will assist working families who have been in shelter for more than a year and vulnerable populations
• Utilizes targeted supportive housing for high needs populations
• Reaffirms the administration’s commitment to assess, improve, and reimagine shelter models to better serves families and individuals before they seek shelter, address their needs while in shelter, and strategically plans for families exiting shelter
• Invests in better outcomes for homeless households as they achieve independence, creates and develops higher quality shelters with better targeted programming throughout the system, and it reduces reliance on shelter models that do not encourage supportive environments.
“The blight of homelessness causes suffering to far too many New Yorkers,” Msgr. Sullivan added. “It is unacceptable.”