On Monday, January 27, thousands of volunteers canvassed public spaces throughout the five boroughs to conduct the tenth annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE).
Introduced Citywide in 2003, HOPE enables the City to gather valuable data about street homelessness, allowing the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to allocate resources to where they are needed most. Similar assessments have since become a federal requirement for all municipalities wishing to receive funding for homeless services under the McKinney-Vento Act− a funding stream that helps New York promote the development of supportive housing for those living unsheltered. With the City’s efforts being identified by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) as a best practice method, the HOPE survey is among the most comprehensive undertakings nationwide.
This year, Commissioner Taylor participated in the survey in Manhattan, embarking on his route from PS 116 on East 33rd Street.
Each year, preparing for HOPE requires a great deal of planning and coordination with other agencies, including the Police Department (NYPD), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Parks and the Department of Education (DOE). Divided into HOPE “zones,” the City is surveyed based on high and low density areas– locations where street homeless individuals are known to outreach, and places where no clients have previously been found, respectively.
DHS would like to thank everyone, including the scores of incredible volunteers, who helped make this year’s survey possible, and reminds all New Yorkers to dial 311 should they see a homeless individual who may be in need of services.
View coverage from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/nyregion/severe-cold-moves-new-yorks-homeless-to-seek-help.html?ref=nyregion
View coverage from the New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/homeless-commissioner-counts-people-living-streets-article-1.1594959
View coverage from NY1: http://www.ny1.com/content/pages/202624/annual-homeless-count-a-first-for-new-dhs-leader