Tuesday, August 11, 2015

CFH Executive Director Bobby Watts Responds to Police Homeless Photos on Pix11

Care for the Homeless Executive Director Bobby Watts was featured last night on Pix11 news to talk about an initiative by the Sergeant Benevolent Association to photograph homeless New Yorkers on the street. The officers are posting their pictures to an online Flicker photo album in an attempt to expose a supposed “decrease in quality of life in NYC” but what these pictures really highlight are the difficulties of life on the street. Whatever the politics of the initiative, we know that it’s crucial to find real fixes for the problems of people experiencing homelessness. 

“I don’t take a position on the letter or motivation. I really focus on results,” Bobby Watts, executive director of Care for the Homeless, told PIX11 News. “To the extent that more people are aware of homelessness and are determined to find solutions, that can be helpful.”

If you see someone in need of services on the street, call 3-1-1 to alert city homeless outreach teams.

CFH Executive Director Bobby Watts responding to initiative to photograph homeless New Yorkers on Pix11 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Start the Summer with Celebration and Health Care Success: June 22nd

Spend the start of summer celebrating the successes of New Yorkers who have experienced homelessness at the second annual Summer Solstice Success Celebration on June 22nd! This year’s program will recognize the health care success of currently and formerly homelessness New Yorkers with presentation of awards to celebrate their achievements, live entertainment and a meal.

During the program add your own health care success story to our 'Wall of Health Care Success" art display.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP click the link here.

We hope to see you there!

Date: Monday, June 22nd at 4:30 p.m.
Location: Red Oaks Apts., 135 W. 106th St., Manhattan (between Amsterdam & Columbus Ave.)
Subway: 1, C or B to 103rd Street

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Join Us on Mon, June 22nd for 2nd Annual Summer Solstice Success Celebration!

Join Care for the Homeless and our Client Leaders on Monday, June 22nd at 4:30 p.m. in celebrating the health care successes of homeless and formerly homeless New Yorkers. The 2nd Annual CFH Summer Solstice Success Celebration will feature live entertainment, fun and the opportunity to recognize the successes of our clients and thank the providers who delivery high quality, client centered services every day.

“So often people focus on the bad news coming out of the shelter system,” said David Broxton, a formerly homeless cancer survivor and Care for the Homeless client. “We want to put the focus on the successes of New Yorkers who have experienced homelessness - people do get back on their feet with the right services available to them.”
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the dining room and gardens at Red Oak Apartments, 135 W. 106th Street in Manhattan, on Monday, June 22, at 4:30 p.m. In addition to celebrating health care stories of success, the group will also announce the winner of their Second Annual Stories of Success writing contest, and the winning short story will be read by the winning author. The program will also feature a full dinner, musical entertainment and a “Wall of Success” exhibition inviting anyone in attendance to contribute their own story of health care success.

Volunteer serving up appetizers at the 2014 Summer Solstice Success Celebration

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Care for the Homeless Joins 30,000 Walkers at AIDS Walk NYC

Over 30,000 walkers participated in this past Sunday’s AIDS Walk NYC, including 11 Care for the Homeless staff and client leaders. The 30th anniversary of the event honored Governor Cuomo for his ‘Bend the Curve’ Plan, the governor’s plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York in by reducing new cases to 750 by 2020. The governor’s three point plan includes identifying people with HIV who remain undiagnosed and linking them to care, retaining people living with HIV with health care services and anti-HIV therapy and providing access to PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) to high-risk individuals to help them remain HIV negative.

The annual walk raised record funds for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis as well as over 40 other AIDS services organization in the tri-state area whose services are key to helping bend the curve of new HIV cases in New York. 

Care for the Homeless has been on the frontline of the crisis for many years, providing critically needed HIV/AIDS services such as diagnosis and treatment for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and advocating for policies to increase the housing stability for HIV positive and all vulnerable New Yorkers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Care for the Homeless takes to the Hill at NHCHC Conference in D.C.

Left from bottom, Client Leader Gayle Dorsky, Staff members
Dominiq Williams and Kim Dalve and Client Leader David Broxton at the Capitol
During last week’s National Health Care for the Homeless Conference in Washington D.C. Care for the Homeless’ clients and staff took to the Hill to advocate for the programs and policies that we know can help end homelessness. Throughout the three day conference a Care for the Homeless team made up of Client Leaders David Broxton and Gayle Dorsky and staff members Kim Dalve and Dominiq Williams visited with congressional representatives from all over New York State.

“Even small cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) are really hurting people who rely on them.” Gayle told NY representatives. “Like many New Yorkers, I’ve had to go to food pantries more, but I have friends who don’t have the time to go to food pantries or get turned away from pantries that have limited resources.”
In addition to advocating for programs like SNAP, the CFH group spoke about the importance of reinstating the National Housing Trust Fund’s pre-recession commitment to use a small percent for low income housing programs, increasing funding for Section 8 and for an amendment to the Federal Tort Claim Act to provide malpractice insurance for volunteer medical practitioners. “Adding this coverage will provide the federal government with volunteer hours in its’ federally qualified health centers, like the clinics that Care for the Homeless operates.” CFH Program Analyst Kim Dalve pointed out to law-makers.
But the overall message was best conveyed by Client Leader David Broxton, who made the point at every office he visited that increasing support and funding programs for low-income Americans and Americans experiencing homelessness is necessary and always worthwhile. “A lot of times you hear in the newspaper, ‘A homeless person did this or that’, Broxton said, “People are so focused on the negative sometimes that they don’t see what’s in front of them- that people who receive assistance from these programs need that help and are using those resources to get back on their feet.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Care for the Homeless Graduates Second Class of “Certified Advocates”

Last night Care for the Homeless celebrated the graduation of its second class of “CFH Certified Advocates”, adding new members to the Care for the Homeless Speakers’ Bureau. The program is open to volunteer client leaders who have been or are homeless and are consumers of Care for the Homeless health care or other services.

Those recognized as graduating included Patricia Gale, George Phipps, Monica Sayers, Brenda Turner and Raymond West. Previous graduates who introduced the new graduates or spoke at the graduation included Calvin Alston, David Broxton, Ava Conner, Gayle Dorsky, Garrett McMahan and Anthony Williams.

In order to graduate participants must completed 12 hours of training, half in homeless policy issue training and half in public speaking training. At the graduation each new Certified Advocate told their personal story, hooked that story to a public policy issue and advocated for better public policy on that issue.

Certified Advocates become members of the Care for the Homeless Speakers’ Bureau. The Speakers’ Bureau is available to make presentations to schools, community groups, religious congregations or other organizations. Groups can receive information about the Speakers’ Bureau, or request appearances, by contacting policy@cfhnyc.org.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NYC Considering Better Homeless Policy and Programs

by Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy

The New York City budget process moves along with continuing signs of improving homeless policy in the Big Apple. Since the De Blasio administration and Homeless Services Commissioner Gilbert Taylor came to office 15 ½ months ago New York City has gone from no real tools to important programs designed to fight and prevent homelessness in the city. For example there was absolutely no subsidy or direct housing program to transition people from shelter to permanent housing in December, 2013. Today, with support of both the city administration and the City Council, there are 6 LINC (living in the Community) subsidy programs designed to subsidize that transition for over 5,000 households annually, and a targeted priority to move 750 families (the city actually exceeded that goal this fiscal year) into NYCHA public housing units that become available each year.

Now the City Council has released its response to the Mayor’s preliminary budget submission with suggestions for even better policies. Council’s requests include another 100 additional shelter beds for unaccompanied Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY), increasing the number of NYCHA units targeted to households in shelter from 750 to 2,500 annually and adding a $1 million appropriation for emergency housing for disabled veterans at risk of homelessness in New York City.

The Council also wants to add $14.7 million in funding to the Emergency Food Assistance Program to aid city food banks which have been struggling to meet demands since sequestration cut SNAP (food stamp) assistance in 2013, and to create a $9.7 million fund for HIV prevention, viral suppression and HIV support programs.

Council also wants to create a program to provide legal representation to tenants in housing court and if they can to provide lawyers to consumers without representation in most civil court matters. They also want to reform the city’s bail and summons procedures so that so many poor New Yorkers don’t sit in jail or lose days for minor matters they haven’t been convicted of. In fact, they are studying decriminalization of minor offenses like violations of the open container ban on alcohol, turnstile jumping and other minor offenses that would then become a civil summons rather than a criminal record. These matters account for far more than half of all criminal summonses issued annually by NYPD, and can avoid criminal records for many New Yorkers while avoiding millions in police and court costs.