April 5, 2016
NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced over 500 workers are helping homeless people move from the streets of New York City to shelters with an array of services now that the Administration’s new HOME-STAT initiative has been fully staffed. The Mayor also announced that beginning May 2, the City will be adding three new homeless counts, in addition to the annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE Count).
“HOME-STAT represents an unprecedented response to street homelessness in New York City. Today, we are doing even more to count and connect homeless people to care. Every homeless person had a path to the streets. Each one needs to find a path back from the streets. It is our responsibility to help them get there, and we will continue these efforts until we reach each person. The only way to do that is to literally walk the streets,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is deploying over 60 canvassers daily to connect the homeless to over 300 outreach workers who can link them to shelters and services. The rest of the 500-member team are agency and nonprofit personnel dedicated to providing medical care, job training and housing to homeless individuals.
Overseeing the implementation of HOME-STAT will be Dr. Michael Jacobson, who previously served as Commissioner to three City agencies, as well as President of the Vera Institute of Justice.
HOME-STAT (Homeless Outreach & Mobile Engagement Street Action Team) is a street homelessness outreach effort that includes daily canvassing of every block in Manhattan from Canal Street to 145th Street, as well as an online dashboard system that maps requests for homeless outreach assistance from the public. Canvassers and outreach teams also focus on 18 hot spot areas across the city, and outreach teams respond to 311 calls from the public.
At any given time during the day, over 30 canvassers will be on the streets, covering 307 street miles on foot and totaling over 2,000 miles weekly.
HOME-STAT, which is the most comprehensive street homelessness outreach effort in any city nationally, will improve the City’s ability to quickly identify issues and deploy resources where they are needed most to help transition homeless individuals from streets to homes.
The city’s street homeless population includes people who have been displaced for a variety of reasons. As the City assesses what resources these populations need, it is of vital importance that agencies that work with homeless populations streamline response and prevention programs with new innovations designed to better identify, engage, and transition homeless New Yorkers.
“I was delighted when the Mayor asked me to help out on his HOME-STAT initiative. I’ve known the Mayor for over 25 years – since we both worked for Mayor Dinkins – and working with his team on an issue as important, complex and multi-systemic as homelessness is the kind of work that I love to do. In all my years as a budget official and Commissioner of two agencies in New York City, to my years running the non-profit Vera Institute of Justice, and now as an academic at CUNY who runs an institute on state and local government, I’ve spent most of my professional career trying to help government solve seemingly intractable social issues. It’s an honor to have been asked to play a part in this effort,” said Dr. Jacobson, who will monitor HOME-STAT’s performance across City agencies, provide recommendations where needed, and ensure appropriate accountability to accelerate homeless individual’s progress towards housing.
“Having an accurate count of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers and providing them with direct access to services is crucial to our efforts to combat homelessness,” said Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks. “This multi-agency effort will allow the Administration to identify New Yorkers who need help and allocate resources more effectively.”
“We are proud of the City’s comprehensive, proactive and innovative effort to address street homelessness through an intensive citywide collaboration” said Mindy Tarlow, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations. “HOME-STAT offers unprecedented transparency and public accountability through a series of public dashboards that reflect the City’s enhanced homeless outreach and support.”
"Street homelessness in Manhattan has increased significantly over the last two years, and we need to work intelligently to reverse that trend," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Everyone who knows me knows my approach to solving problems starts with collecting and organizing data to fully understand the task in front of us. That's why I think the Mayor’s HOME-STAT initiative holds so much promise – it will help us build our effort to end homelessness on a solid foundation of data."
Council Member Steve Levin, Chair of General Welfare Committee, said, “I applaud the full implementation of HOME-STAT, an innovative program that will enable us to proactively identify homeless individuals in need of assistance and connect them to a case worker and essential services. I support the expansion of citywide nighttime counts of unsheltered New Yorkers, which will provide us with key data to consider and implement strong, evidence-based methods to address issues surrounding homelessness in our city. As Chair of the General Welfare Committee, I believe that HOME-STAT is a strong step toward ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to safe shelter.”
Council Member Margaret Chin said, “The implementation of this important program is proof that we as a City can be compassionate to New Yorkers in need while also being responsive to the quality of life concerns of residents, visitors, and business owners. I thank former Commissioner Jacobson for helping ensure that this vital outreach effort is a success.”
“Today New York City is taking action to address homelessness,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “Homelessness is a complex and difficult issue with no easy solutions. It takes hard work, resources and coordination, and that is what the Home Stat program provides. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Banks for their efforts on this important initiative.”
"HOME-STAT will dramatically improve the City’s understanding of how to best approach homelessness on a larger scale,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Employing multiple agencies to this issue can ensure services are connected to those in need in a more timely manner. I am eager to see the results of this new program so that we can more rapidly achieve the goal of finding permanent housing solutions for those living on our streets."
"We as a city must do all we can to help the homeless off the streets, from proactive canvassing, to quarterly nighttime counts, and a public dashboard so residents can see the results of our efforts," said Council Member Ben Kallos, co-Founder of the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach Services (ETHOS). "Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Steve Banks for their leadership and focus on helping the homeless."
“For years, homelessness in New York City has been at crisis proportions. An affordability crisis coupled with an epidemic of evictions has pushed more people to the streets than ever before. I’m pleased Mayor de Blasio is responding to this challenge by putting boots on the ground. HOME-STAT will allow the City to reach more of our fellow New Yorkers living on the streets and ensure our efforts to fight homelessness are based on the facts,” said Council Member Mark Levine.
“HOME-STAT has provided critical support for Breaking Ground's homeless street outreach work, which covers all of Brooklyn, Queens and almost one-third of Manhattan," said Brenda Rosen, President & CEO of Breaking Ground. "With HOME-STAT, we are significantly expanding our outreach work to break the cycle of homelessness. Our outreach teams are on the streets every single day of the year, at every hour, in the scorching heat and severe cold, connecting with the homeless with the ultimate goal of finding them housing and support. It's a process that is different for every homeless New Yorker, but we see it transform and save lives every day."
Teisha Diallo, Director of Outreach, Project Hospitality, said, “HOME-STAT is a breath of fresh air for Project Hospitality Outreach program. Through HOME-STAT, Project Hospitality Outreach was able to expand its program to be able to provide a robust set of services to individuals in the community that were unable to connect to resources available.”
“BronxWorks appreciates the additional resources being allocated to its homeless outreach program through the new DHS HOME-STAT initiative. The additional resources will result in fewer people living on the street in the borough and will improve the quality of life for everyone. The resources will allow our staff to focus on the specific needs of an individual and allow for a customized plan to get them off the street. Our teams will be able to canvass more thoroughly and rapidly respond to community calls to ensure the safety of our clients and the general public. The initiative has also improved cooperation between multiple city agencies resulting in more successful collaborative efforts to address the needs of the population we serve,” said Eileen Torres, Executive Director of BronxWorks.
All New Yorkers can join the HOME-STAT effort by contacting 311—by phone or mobile app—and requesting outreach assistance for individuals they believe may be homeless and in need of help.