Home-Stat Initiative Houses Almost 700 Formerly Street Homeless New Yorkers

December 21, 2016

NEW YORK—Since the launch of HOME-STAT in March 2016 through October, the new initiative has helped 690 street homeless individuals transition from the streets through connecting them to permanent housing or transitional housing options, such as safe havens. HOME-STAT remains the most comprehensive street homeless outreach initiative in any major national city. It has doubled the number of street homeless outreach staff members working to connect individuals to the resources they need to place them in housing, and has expanded outreach services into indoor spaces such as libraries and hospitals.

“HOME-STAT has already proven to be an essential lifeline for connecting individuals living on the street, and the hidden homeless who have historically evaded outreach, to the housing and services they need,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We will continue to generate innovative solutions and make strategic investments to improve our ability to identify and serve homeless New Yorkers.”

Increasing staff members and resources has meant that street homeless outreach workers can connect with more individuals living on the street and offer expanded, personalized case management services:

  • The City’s by-name list of street homeless or formerly street homeless clients is now at 2,976.
  • The list includes 1,373 people with whom HOME-STAT outreach workers are still working to bring off the street, an increase of 512 since March.
  • The remaining 1,603 were formerly street homeless and are now in either permanent or transitional housing or still receiving care to help them stay off of the street and in housing.

HOME-STAT is based on the premise that homelessness is a citywide problem that requires a citywide solution – a one-size-fits-all approach is insufficient as individuals that are living on the street present complex challenges. Many have fallen through available safety nets, and experienced trauma that may make outreach more complicated. HOME-STAT focuses on connecting with each individual living on the street to begin establishing trust and building relationships that will help nonprofit service providers bring them indoors. It also provides aftercare services, continuing to work with individuals who receive placements to ensure they receive the support they need and stay off of the street. 

Other HOME-STAT accomplishments include:

  • Increasing the number of street outreach workers from 191 to 387 (a 103 percent increase). They do the hard work of talking to street homeless individuals and gaining their trust.
  • Expanding case management services to now provide this help to anyone living on the street, rather than first requiring individuals to be homeless for a certain number of months to be eligible for these critical services.
  • Bringing street homeless outreach indoors by forming partnerships with libraries and hospitals to connect with homeless individuals who have historically evaded street homeless outreach workers by using indoor public spaces as de facto shelters. 
  • Creating continuity for the homeless individuals on the streets and public accountability for the City agencies that serve them through a new citywide case-management and case-conferencing model.
  • Increasing the tools outreach workers need to bring homeless individuals off the streets, including 284 Safe Havens already opened or in process for a new total of 813.
  • Using the daily canvassing of key areas and the most extensive quarterly count in the country to help make sure as many people on the street as possible are identified and offered services. 
  • Publishing daily and monthly dashboards online for the public, alongside other data quality and transparency measures.

“HOME-STAT recognizes that each individual living on the street has a story and faces unique challenges, and it uses targeted resources to help meet these individuals where they are. It takes an average of almost five months of intensive contact by outreach workers to bring street homeless individuals into transitional housing and more than a year for permanent housing,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks.

“HOME-STAT offers a first-ever opportunity to pull the camera back for a wider angle on who is on the street and how best to meet their needs,” said Mayor’s Office of Operations Director Mindy Tarlow. “HOME-STAT allows outreach workers to expand their engagement with individuals before they become chronically homeless, and broadens the participation of multiple agencies in providing services and bringing systemic solutions to the table.”

As part of HOME-STAT, the City has committed to bringing on 500 additional safe haven beds, 284 of which have already been secured, bringing the current total to 813. According to the most recent daily data report, 717 of these beds are currently in use. Safe Havens are an essential tool for helping outreach workers bring people in from the streets and can be used as a stepping stone to help clients get from the street to shelter or transitional or permanent housing.

Through new partnerships with 35 public library branches and nine hospitals across the city, HOME-STAT helps street homeless outreach staff members locate and provide services to the hidden homeless. Historically, many street homeless individuals have used these public locations as de facto shelters, evading outreach workers who respond to individuals on the street. Based on their initial success, the City will work to continue to grow these partnerships.

HOME-STAT has also increased transparency on homelessness in New York City through the publication of an online dashboard containing figures updated daily, monthly and quarterly. HOME-STAT quarterly counts and the City’s annual HOPE count data indicate there are about 2,700 people living on New York City streets. HOME-STAT’s outreach teams continue to engage these individuals and work to bring them onto their caseloads. The HOME-STAT daily and monthly dashboards are available through the NYC Mayor’s Office of Operations website. 

2016 Quarterly Counts

Number of People Located

Winter (HOPE)

2,794

Spring

2,535

Summer

2,746

Fall

2,738

“While HOME-STAT has provided immediate impact in terms of additional funding for staffing and resources, its long-term affect will be most felt in the individualized approach it promotes for the clients we serve,” said BronxWorks Homeless Outreach Team Program Director Juan Rivera. “HOME-STAT has heightened accountability and improved outcomes. The additional resources maximize the chances of success of every individual we work with. The initiative promotes collaboration between City agencies and not-for-profit partners that reduce obstacles and improve service delivery to our clients. No one wants to be homeless, especially when the temperature dips. HOME-STAT connects our clients to essential resources and permanent housing.”

"We appreciate the City and State's collaborative efforts to help unsheltered New Yorkers, and we ask that all New Yorkers work with us to help the people we serve come in from the cold," said BRC Executive Director Muzzy Rosenblatt.

“The City’s HOME-STAT initiative drove a major expansion of Breaking Ground’s street outreach programs, allowing us to reach even more people living on the streets and connect them with critical services, with the ultimate goal of moving them into permanent supportive housing. Thanks to HOME-STAT, we nearly tripled our outreach teams. Our tireless and dedicated staff are covering more ground every day, 24/7, to serve the homeless which is especially important in these cold winter months when they are extremely vulnerable,” said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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