Care for the Homeless was delighted to be included last week in a half-day roundtable discussion sponsored by Governing Magazine about “Creating Livable Communities” with about 30 of New York City’s leading policymakers, advocates, business people, union officials, academics and elected officials. New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito began the forum with a review of city concerns and programs. Other participants included the Partnership for New York City, AARP, the New York Housing Conference, the New York Public Library, and business, educational, transportation, healthcare, technology and public safety representatives.
Other elected policy makers present included City Council Members Margaret Chin and Paul Vallone, representatives of several Borough Presidents and various state and city government offices including the city Department of Homeless Services.
Governing Magazine has sponsored more than a dozen of these discussions “from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon” in an effort to start a meaningful dialogue on vital issues in communities across the country.
New York City is a leader in city planning and addressing important community issues, but certainly there’s much more to be done and the conversation must continue. At Care for the Homeless we’re pleased to be in that discussion.
We both recognize and celebrate the outstanding efforts the city administration and the current City Council are making to provide services to underserved communities and the programs now being launched to provide stable housing to people experiencing homelessness in New York City, as well as more aggressive efforts to create more affordable housing generally.
We also know more must be done. Providing accessible and appropriate healthcare and human services to all homeless people is the right thing to do, produces far better outcomes and actually saves public resources. The same is true of transitioning people from shelters to permanent housing including supportive housing for those who need it. As we address these issues we must be mindful of scaling these new programs at significant enough size to actually solve the problem, opening subsidies and housing to all those who so desperately need it, combining programs with robust aftercare and supports designed to allow participants to be successful and creating procedures and program administration that are efficient and effective. That’s part of our contribution to this ongoing discussion.
Our thanks to Governing Magazine, AARP, Speaker Mark-Viverito and all involved for this wonderful opportunity to participate in a valuable and needed process focused on creating livable communities for everyone.