May 25, 2022
Unprecedented $171 Million Investment in Low-Barrier Safe Haven and Stabilization Beds Ensures Unhoused New Yorkers Have Short- and Longer-Term Destinations of Care, Support, and Housing
New Video Shows DSS Outreach Teams at Work
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that three months into the Subway Safety Plan, 1,379 people experiencing homelessness have accepted placement in safe haven, stabilization, and shelter beds. This is a five-fold increase in people accepting services compared with the first week of the plan, when only 22 people accepted shelter. Additionally, the city’s outreach teams are making on average 744 engagements with people in need each day in both the mayor’s Subway Safety Plan and end-of-line (EOL) outreach efforts, building trust to connect more New Yorkers to long-term permanent housing, mental health care, and community-based services.
“Three months into our work making subways safer and connecting New Yorkers in need with services, and it is evident that our efforts are working,” said Mayor Adams. “We have connected more than 1,300 New Yorkers with shelter and other vital services and our teams are making hundreds of engagements every day on the subways, a monumental milestone. It’s a new day in New York, and this announcement shows what is possible when we can break down silos between agencies and work in partnership with the state and the MTA toward a collective goal. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so we will continue to evaluate what works best, while never wavering from our commitment to help put New Yorkers experiencing homelessness on a path towards permanent housing and stability and building a safer subway system for all.”
“Every New Yorker deserves a permanent home and today’s milestone is a first step toward that goal,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Today’s announcement is a product of multiagency coordination underway including robust city-state partnerships working together to execute the Subway Safety Plan and homeless outreach work. Thank you to all the community-based organizations doing outreach work every day.”
“This administration is already delivering on its promise to make a real difference in the lives of our most vulnerable New Yorkers, and we’re proud of the significant progress we’ve made over such a short period of time,” said New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “The unprecedented investments in dedicated resources coupled with an all-hands-on-deck approach to addressing unsheltered homelessness has helped over 1,300 New Yorkers take the first step toward stabilizing their lives. The support of our agency and state partners has been key to the effective implementation of our strategic efforts to address a long, intractable crisis and achieving these results. Most importantly, we are grateful for our compassionate outreach teams that work around the clock to engage and build trust with our fellow New Yorkers in need, encouraging them to come inside and receive the high-quality services they deserve.”
“The NYPD is proud to be a part of this innovative, multiagency effort to ensure that no New Yorker is left behind,” said New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “Our collective response to homelessness, and its fundamental causes, is rooted in both compassion and a can-do spirit to makes things better, to help connect our city’s most vulnerable populations with the services they deserve, and to improve life for all New Yorkers. This is our solemn pledge as our NYPD officers continue working day and night to prevent and combat crime and maintain public safety in our great city.”
“Meeting the needs of unhoused people on our subways and streets, who often face complex health, mental health, and social needs, is some of the most challenging work we do as city. Getting these fellow New Yorkers connected with services and shelter should be easier,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “This pioneering approach is finally making inroads at getting our neighbors linked to the supports that will help them recover and thrive. We are proud to be part of this effort with our partner agencies.”
“Vulnerable New Yorkers deserve to live with dignity, access to health care, and housing that includes basic facilities. The subway isn’t a home that lives up to that standard,” said Janno Lieber, chair and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). “We welcome Mayor Adams’ commitment to engage compassionately with those who would otherwise be forced to use the transit system as a shelter of last resort.”
As part of the Subway Safety Plan, the city is providing outreach services at all 24 end-of-line stations every night and throughout the subway system every day. At some EOL stations, enhanced outreach is provided overnight through joint response efforts that include DSS, DOHMH, NYPD, MTA, and community-based providers in high-need locations across the city. The city also partners with the state’s Safe Options Support Outreach Teams, which consist of outreach workers and clinicians to connect people to ongoing Critical Time Intervention services.
Last month, Mayor Adams announced unprecedented investments in high-quality services and resources dedicated to helping unsheltered New Yorkers transition off the streets, and out of the subway system, and move into more stable housing. As part of his focus to help those experiencing homelessness, the mayor allocated an additional $171 million a year, beginning in Fiscal Year 2023, to aggressively expand and enhance outreach efforts and specialized resources, including safe havens, stabilization beds, and Drop-in Centers — the largest investment made by any city administration in street outreach and targeted low-barrier programs.