June 5, 2018
Outreach teams increase average monthly placements by 51%, achieving 276 placements per month
NEW YORK—The de Blasio Administration today announced that more than 1,800 street homeless New Yorkers have successfully transitioned off the streets and into safer, more stable environments, including transitional programs and permanent housing, as a result of the persistent, dedicated efforts of HOME-STAT outreach teams across the five boroughs. In the two years since HOME-STAT initiative was launched in 2016, through strong collaboration between the Department of Homeless Services, the New York City Police Department, Agency partners, and not-for-profit social service providers, the City has placed a total of 1,815 New Yorkers experiencing street homelessness into permanent housing or transitional settings, all of whom remain off the streets—thanks to new investments in outreach programs and providers, a dramatic increase in dedicated shelter capacity, and a doubling in the number of outreach staff deployed around the clock in all five boroughs.
“Thanks to the persistence of our outreach teams, we’ve been able to convince more than 1,800 homeless New Yorkers to come off the streets and subways and into shelter and housing,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Homelessness wasn’t created overnight and won’t be solved overnight, but this new milestone shows were making progress on our citywide effort to turn the tide on this decades-old challenge.”
“Helping every person living on our streets find a safe place to live and keeping them stably housed remains a top priority for our Administration,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “The data released today show that our approach to reducing the city’s street homeless population is working. As we enter the warmer season, we will continue our aggressive efforts to engage unsheltered New Yorkers, help them find an appropriate place to live and access services to get back on their feet.”
“Thanks to the day-in and day-out dedication and compassion of our outreach teams, we’re proud to announce that our HOME-STAT outreach program has helped 1,815 homeless New Yorkers come off the streets and subways into safe, stable housing and transitional programs,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “Individuals experiencing homelessness on the streets have fallen through every social safety net available and building the trust that encourages them to accept services can take hundreds of contacts over many months, which is why each and every individual helped off the streets and back onto the path to permanency is a hard-fought victory. We remain persistent in our efforts to engage New Yorkers in need 24/7/365 in all five boroughs, helping them get back on their feet one person at a time.”
Rolled out in 2016, HOME-STAT (Homeless Outreach & Mobile Engagement Street Action Teams) is a citywide multiagency initiative to address street homelessness in which hundreds of highly-trained not-for-profit outreach staff, including licensed social workers, canvass the streets 24/7/365, proactively engaging homeless New Yorkers, offering services and assistance, and working 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. HOME-STAT encapsulates all of New York City’s street homeless outreach efforts across the board, including:
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ending homelessness. With a dedicated not-for-profit provider for each borough (the Manhattan Outreach Consortium, led by CUCS in partnership with Goddard-Riverside and Breaking Ground in Manhattan; Breaking Ground in Brooklyn and Queens; BronxWorks in the Bronx; Project Hospitality on Staten Island; and BRC in the subways), HOME-STAT outreach teams working around the clock across the five boroughs, building relationships by making regular—often daily—contact with street homeless New Yorkers: getting to know them, developing trust, and sharing information about the resources available to them.
Not-for-profit outreach provider partners and outreach teams also have psychiatrists who perform psychiatric evaluations on the streets and thereby help outreach teams understand and better meet the individual needs of each street homeless New Yorker. These clinicians and psychiatrists help outreach teams make more effective connections with clients, many of whom have fallen through every social safety net, and who may be difficult to engage, in many cases due to potential mental health or substance use challenges. HOME-STAT also provides aftercare services, continuing to work with individuals who receive placements to ensure that they get the supports they need to remain in housing and off of the street.
EQUIPPING HOME-STAT OUTREACH TEAMS WITH NEW TOOLS AND RESOURCES
In addition to redoubling and enhancing proactive round-the-clock street outreach efforts, DHS operates facilities dedicated to serving street homeless New Yorkers—and is in the process of opening more. Drop-In Centers and Safe Havens are low-barrier programs specifically targeted toward homeless individuals who may be resistant to accepting other services, including traditional shelters. Both Drop-In Centers and Safe Havens are equipped with on-site services and staff who work closely with the clients to deepen those relationships, stabilize their lives, and encourage them to transition further off the streets, and ultimately into permanent housing. These facilities are often the first step towards bringing street homeless New Yorkers indoors.
We are nearly tripling the number of beds dedicated to supporting street homeless New Yorkers citywide since 2014, with hundreds of beds opened during this Administration, hundreds more coming online this year, and an additional commitment to another 250 beds, increasing the operating total from roughly 600 beds to nearly 1,800 beds.
UNPRECEDENTED INVESTMENTS TO CONTINUALLY ENHANCE OUTREACH EFFORTS
Since 2014, the de Blasio Administration has committed unprecedented new resources to street outreach programs and providers:
Accepting outreach efforts, including services that will help homeless New Yorkers transition indoors from the streets, is voluntary. It can take months of persistent and compassionate engagement and hundreds of contacts to successfully connect street homeless individuals with City services. Together, the City and not-for-profit outreach service provider partners remain undeterred in the ongoing effort to engage unsheltered New Yorkers proactively, offering services and support, until making the connection that will help them transition off the streets and out of the subways. HOME-STAT outreach teams continue to reach-out to these New Yorkers to offer services and help them come indoors.
“We know intense outreach is most successful when linked to quality transitional and permanent housing," said Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the Committee on General Welfare. "That's why this milestone is so important -- it shows a commitment to deepening one-on-one relationships with New Yorkers living on the streets and connecting them to the services and programs right for them. Citywide investments in permanent and supportive housing, community-based shelters, and transitional programs like Safe Havens are critical to helping New Yorkers get back on their feet and I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to ensure HOME-STAT has the resources it needs to help every New Yorker find their home.”
“I applaud DHS for recognizing the importance of expanding homeless outreach programs. HOME-STAT connects street homeless to needed services and that connection critical to moving people toward stable permanent housing,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “We also must continue to work to create more housing to meet the needs once people are connected through this vital program.”
“CUCS is a proud partner with DHS on HOME-STAT,” said Tony Hannigan, President and CEO, Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS). “Our outreach teams are at work around the clock, 365 days a year, helping people living on the streets of Manhattan to access care and housing. The city’s investment and our collective work has led to an unprecedented number of individuals who have been helped to move off the streets and into housing.”
“At Breaking Ground, we believe everyone deserves a home. With increased support and resources from the City through HOME-STAT, our dedicated outreach teams have been able to reach and serve more vulnerable New Yorkers than ever before, bringing them inside and giving them a chance to rebuild and restore their lives,” said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO, Breaking Ground.
“We are proud to partner with the city and our fellow Manhattan Outreach Consortium members to help people secure permanent supportive housing,” said Roberta Solomon, Deputy Executive Director for Adult and Community Development, Goddard Riverside. “Time and time again we've seen that supportive housing is a powerful tool to help people recover from their time on the streets, reconnect with family and community, and start a new chapter in their lives.”
“Our outreach team works 24 hours day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help New York's most vulnerable on their path from homelessness to home,” said Muzzy Rosenblatt, President and CEO, Bowery Resident’s Committee (BRC). “As a dedicated partner of the HOME-STAT initiative, we've made more than 3,000 outreach placements from the streets, subway and transit facilities in 2017, alone. The City's investment and partnership has helped us make the biggest impact possible in the work we do and the people we serve.”
“BronxWorks has continued to see HOMESTAT’s positive effects on our work serving street homeless individuals in the Bronx, particularly with the focus on coordinated assessment, which has helped to prioritize our most vulnerable clients for permanent housing,” said Juan Rivera LMSW, Homeless Outreach Program Director, BronxWorks.“BronxWorks has also seen the success of HOMESTAT’s investment in expanding the available menu of service options for our clients by funding new drop-in centers and by opening more Safe Haven programs. With the increased focus on individual service planning for all street homeless people and access to more Safe Haven beds, BronxWorks has seen an uptick in the number of people coming off the street into both transitional and permanent housing.”
“We are incredibly grateful to the Department of Homeless Services for increased funding for enhancements to our outreach programs,” said Reverend Dr. Terry Troia, President and CEO, Project Hospitality. “As the affordable housing crisis grows wider in our borough, the Project Hospitality Outreach team continues to need access to additional resources to get homeless Staten Islanders off the streets of our borough and into safe shelter. The HOME-STAT program has helped us connect vulnerable individuals to comprehensive wrap around services as part of our wider continuum of care, with the ultimate goal of securing safe affordable housing for all homeless Staten Islanders.”
For the most immediate response, New Yorkers who see individuals they believe to be homeless and in need should contact 3-1-1 via phone or mobile app and request outreach assistance.