Mayor Adams Kept in the Dark By NYC Social Service Commissioner Regarding Problems in Homeless Shelters
According to sources and messages obtained by The Post, Mayor Eric Adams was reportedly kept in the dark about migrants who were forced to sleep on the floor at one of the city’s intake centers by Gary Jenkins, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services.
The withholding of information was revealed after Julia Savel, the agency’s chief public information officer, was removed from her position after she reportedly complained internally that Jenkins was keeping the information of the agency, violating their own mandate from Adams and the public.
A 2008 court settlement between the city and Legal Aid, which represented the homeless population residing in shelters, made it illegal for those under the city’s care to sleep at an intake center.
On Friday, August 5th, Savel received notice that she was fired from her position as Deputy Commissioner for Public Information.
Originally reported by NBC 4 and confirmed by The Post on Wednesday, messages showed Savel tried to expose the overcrowding in the city’s homeless shelters, against Jenkins’ wishes.
Savel texted City Hall Deputy Press Secretary Kate Smart on Sunday, July 24th saying, “I just can’t work for a commish who is OK with covering up something illegal.”
She also sent a message later that day that said, “I don’t have many deal breakers, but what happened last week def was.”
According to City Hall, families were reportedly forced to spend the night at an intake office in the Bronx on July 18, but Department of Social Services leaders were unaware that having anyone sleep inside the intake office was illegal until after the fact.
More insight on Mayor Adams kept in the dark about Problems in Homeless Shelters…
According to a source, Adams was not informed of the legal obligation to set a family up in a shelter if they arrive before 10:00pm until two days later, on Wednesday evening, even though Jenkins had known since Monday.
Savel texted Smart in July saying, “Gary was trying to not tell City Hall that we broke the law. I got yelled at for telling you. I’ve known since Monday.”
The Department of Social Services released a statement to The Post saying they were working quickly “to examine the situation on the ground to ensure that we were accurately reporting the facts to our stakeholders.” They also said that they “recognized the formidable pressures that were being placed on our shelter system that led to our inability to meet our mandate for only one night,” citing the influx of migrants to the NYC shelter system as a culprit.
In a statement, City Hall stated that the city works “every day to meet the mandate to shelter those in need of housing in our city.”
According to press secretary Fabien Levy, “Last month, we confirmed that we did not meet that mandate for a handful of families by the required time on one evening.”
Though there have been claims that some families spent several nights in the intake office, they have yet to be confirmed.
A spokesperson for the Department of Social Services confirmed that despite the recent influx of migrants that seems to be overwhelming the system, the department is determined to maintain the mandate.