A year after launching an initiative to tackle homelessness in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams has revealed significant strides in addressing the issue.
Since its inception, the mayor’s program has successfully moved 54 chronically homeless individuals who have severe mental illness off the streets. These individuals have been placed in stable housing or medical facilities.
Additionally, in a substantial leap from last year, the initiative has connected hundreds of homeless individuals believed to be battling untreated severe mental illnesses with hospital evaluations.
Mayor Adams stated, “One year ago, we made a commitment to New Yorkers that the days of ignoring the mental health crisis playing out on our streets were over.”
“I’m proud that a year into this effort, we have made progress helping and housing a significant number of those most in need of care and support,” he added.
Mayor Adams emphasized that progress is achieved due to the city’s investment in training first responders, bringing psychiatric beds online, and enhancing inter-agency coordination.
The mayor noted, “While we’re encouraged by the early results, we look forward to working with our partners in Albany to pass the Supportive Interventions Act, as well as engaging even more New Yorkers and providing them with the help they so desperately need.”
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Anne Williams-Isom, highlighted the year-long efforts to bring hope and support to those struggling with severe mental illness.
“Every person we have supported has friends, family, or loved ones that can now witness them in a safe, stable place receiving the care they need,” she remarked.
In the fiscal year 2023, the city has doubled the number of permanent housing placements originating from Safe Havens and stabilization beds.
Since January 2022, outreach staffing has seen a 60% expansion, leading to a significant boost in overall referrals to shelter placements, which exceeded 8,500 during FY23, marking a 70% rise from the previous fiscal year.
In addition to the Subway Safety Plan initiated in February 2022, reports from the mayor’s office say more than 6,100 New Yorkers have moved into the shelter system.
The New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has also successfully facilitated the transition of over 1,000 New Yorkers from Safe Haven and stabilization environments to permanent housing, an increase of over 130% compared to the previous year.
The city’s progress includes:
- The addition of psychiatric beds.
- Enhanced coordination between first responders and NYC Health + Hospitals.
- Training for clinicians and first responders.
- Implementation of data collection processes.
- The piloting of Joint Response Teams.
Furthermore, introducing the Supportive Interventions Act aims to scale up the city’s efforts and address legal barriers to psychiatric crisis care.
As winter approaches, the city is intensifying its street outreach efforts to assist all New Yorkers living on the streets. This includes opening 270 new Safe Haven and stabilization beds and increasing training for outreach staff.
A new hybrid low-barrier program will also be launched near the subway station in Queens, serving as both a Drop-In Center and a stabilization bed site, set to open in the coming weeks.