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Mayor de Blasio Deploys Additional Resources to Chinatown Area to Aid Community and Homeless Outreach Efforts

October 7, 2019

NEW YORK— Mayor de Blasio announced today that the city is deploying additional resources to the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan to aid existing homeless outreach efforts, provide additional social services, and increase security measures. 

"What happened over the weekend shakes the conscience of who we are as New Yorkers," said Mayor de Blasio. “We are sending experts to the neighborhood to provide support during this difficult time, and will continue to assess how to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future." 

"While our city mourns this horrible and senseless loss of life, I want to remind New Yorkers that the city has experts available to provide support for anyone facing mental health challenges. We’re committed to providing mental health services for all New Yorkers and our mental health outreach teams stand ready to provide support to this community and anyone seeking help," said First Lady Chirlane McCray.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of the surrounding community, the City will immediately dispatch mental health outreach teams through the Department of Health and Thrive to the designated area. Beginning Monday, mental health support teams will be on-site at community locations throughout the week to provide emotional support and connect people to mental health and other supportive social services. The NYPD has deployed additional officers to patrol the neighborhood.   

The city will also increase frequency of outreach in the area, with HOME-STAT teams proactively engaging homeless New Yorkers, offer services and assistance, and work to gain their trust with the goal of addressing the underlying issues that may have caused or contributed to their street homelessness in order to ultimately, help these individuals transition off the streets. To aid this effort, all street homeless outreach teams have access to:

  • Licensed clinicians who work with clients on the streets, provide on-going case management, and assess each individual for immediate risk/crisis during each encounter
  • Psychiatrists who perform psychiatric evaluations on the streets, as needed, helping understand and how better to meet the individual needs of each street homeless New Yorker
  • Substance use resources, including ability to immediately connect individuals to detox and other rehabilitation programs—and are trained in naloxone administration

At shelters in the community, staff are reminding clients of the availability of mental health support through NYCWELL and will connect clients who may want or need additional services, including mental health services, with qualified professionals and care in the community. DHS will also ensure shelter staff citywide are informing clients of resources available through NYCWell and how to access them.

To remain responsive to the needs of Chinatown residents and community members, the city will continue to meet with local officials and stakeholders and provide updates on the results of these initiatives.

“This is a cruel tragedy and a sad, terrible reminder that far too many people are living on our streets, said State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “New York City is facing a homelessness crisis, a horrible effect of many of our society’s failings and inhumanities. I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio for promptly committing additional resources to the Chinatown area. In the coming days, we will be assessing what more can be done locally. And throughout New York, we must redouble our efforts to provide housing and shelter and to get people the help they need with substance abuse, health, and mental health problems—all of which can be a contributing cause to homelessness and can be exacerbated by not having a stable place to live. I will work diligently with my colleagues in city and state government to find better solutions.”

“I urge anyone who is unsettled about these events to take the time for self-care,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The outreach and resources that the city is making available in the neighborhood are a good way to do that.”

“Saturday’s terrible act of senseless violence has shocked Chinatown and forced a moral reckoning across our city,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “As we mourn the loss of four members of our community, we must embrace the moral duty we have to our fellow New Yorkers. Over the coming weeks, I will work closely with Mayor de Blasio to coordinate homeless outreach efforts, provide more social services, and enhance security measures.”

Community Board 3 is very glad to hear that mental health outreach teams, additional services,  and assessment for risk  along with on-going case management will be enhanced  in Chinatown. Chinatown is devastated by these horrific murders and needs this support along with all possible measures to protect the most vulnerable.   Community Board 3 is very appreciative of this immediate and robust response. We look forward to working with the outreach teams and the agencies in any way possible to safeguard our most vulnerable residents and support Chinatown residents, said Susan Stetzer, District Manager, Community Board 3.

"As New Yorkers, we are deeply saddened and shaken to the core by the senseless brutal killing of fellow human beings on the streets of Chinatown. It once again highlights the importance of mental health and the need for proper diagnosis and treatment to deal with serious deep seated issues. We exist to help one another, let the process and the healing begin,” said Wellington Chen, Executive Director Chinatown Partnership.

"The problem of homelessness in New York City needs our urgent attention, and it is worsening in Chinatown and Lower Manhattan. Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) will collaborate with the City of New York to provide Thrive NYC mental health services in this urgent time. We also call on the City to find a comprehensive and long-lasting solution to combat homelessness, so a tragedy like this will not happen again,” said Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association President Eric Ng.

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