The Department of Social Services (DSS) is comprised of the administrative units of the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). Through integrated management for HRA and DHS, client services can be provided more seamlessly and effectively. The City leverages shared services functions across agencies, which results in better day-to-day management and building an integrated mission across agencies.
In April 2016, following a comprehensive review of the City's homelessness policies, Mayor de Blasio appointed Commissioner Banks to lead DHS, in addition to HRA, as head of a joint management structure under DSS.
Steven Banks has dedicated his entire career to improving the lives of low-income New Yorkers. Throughout his 33 years with the Legal Aid Society prior to his appointment, Banks developed an extensive track record of working productively with a unionized workforce and helping the city's most vulnerable residents - including seniors, survivors of domestic violence, immigrants, and people living with HIV/AIDS - navigate DSS' programs and services. He is credited with helping reach a landmark settlement with the City in 2008 over its treatment of homeless children and adults, which resulted in the establishment of a permanent enforceable right to shelter for homeless families in New York City.