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Showing posts from 2014

Every 3.5 minutes, Care for the Homeless transforms a life

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In less than 3 minutes, you too can change a life by donating to our End of Year fundraising campaign on Crowdrise
Six-year old Jake's medical record includes something that may seem unusual: a copy of his most-improved student award. 
When his dad first came to the Care for the Homeless clinic frustrated and concerned about his son's hyperactive behavior, Jake was failing kindergarten. After his parents lost their jobs, the family fell on hard times and lost their apartment.  
Jake's family has joined a group of more than 60,000 New Yorkers experiencing homeless every night. Unfortunately, his experience is not unique. Families like Jakes' now spend more than 435 days living in NYC homeless shelter before they can find affordable housing. 
Your gift makes life-changing care for Jake and his parents possible. Donate Now. Every $25, 50 or $75 donated to this Crowdrise campaign will be matched by a very generous donor.  
Your investment in health today, will help end hom…

The Still Unmet Promise of Universal Basic Human Rights

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy

Tomorrow, December 10th, is Human Rights Day. It marks the 66th anniversary of the adoption of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Care for the Homeless joins in recognizing the fundamental human rights proclaimed in that document in 1948 including the right to housing. When the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights it was a vow by the community of nations still standing in the shadow of the horrors of World War II. It was drafted initially by an 18 member international “Drafting” Committee chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and eventually by a committee composed of delegations from 50 nations. When it was overwhelmingly adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, eight nations abstained but not a single country voted in opposition.
The Declaration is based on the inherent dignity and equality of all people and the “inalienable rights of all members of the human family”. Among those fundamental human …

Care for the Homeless Observes World AIDS Day

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Yesterday, December 1st, client leaders of Care for the Homeless (CFH) observed World AIDS Day at the CFH offices at 30 E. 33rd Street in Manhattan. Members of the CFH Consumer Advisory Boards led presentations and discussions about services for people living with AIDS/HIV, current medical programs and advances and the New York State strategy to end the AIDS epidemic in the state by 2020.
Clients, CFH staff and others in attendance heard presentations for consumer leaders including Calvin Alston, Gayle Dorsky and George Phipps. They lauded efforts announced by Governor Cuomo to end the AIDS epidemic – which he has defined as reducing new cases to the point where there is no net increase in AIDS cases in the state annually – by 2020.

“That’s a lot of ground to cover in the next five or six years,” according to Alston, “but the Governor and the AIDS Task Force have developed a workable three part plan to do just that.”
“As part of the Governor’s plan, advocates and activists like thos…

Join Us. Remember. Advocate.

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Care of the Homeless Remembers Lost Neighbors
“I couldn’t believe it, when I first heard” CFH Client Leader Raymond West, said of the death of Miguel Durcio, the Bronx man who was attacked while sleeping on the steps of a church, simply because he was homeless. “He was only sleeping on the church steps because he thought he would be safe there.” Mr. Durio is gone but not forgotten- Care for the Homeless will remember his life and honor his memory on December 18th, at 5:30 p.m., on Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, a national day of memorial for people who tragically passed away while unstably housed. Held with the NYC Rescue Mission at their 90 Lafayette Street location, our Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day program will feature a candle light memorial, a meal for those who are hungry, and a chance for attendees to remember friends on our Memorial Wall.
People experiencing homelessness have terrible health outcomes compared to the housed population, with an age adjusted life expectancy of …

From Shelter to Affordable Housing: A GREAT FIRST STEP!

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy

NYC’s New Rental Programs to Transition Families Experiencing Homelessness Last year Bill de Blasio famously campaigned successfully to become Mayor of New York City on the “Tale of Two Cities.” He spoke about the tragedy of low income people unable to get by or even find barely affordable housing in the U.S.’s biggest city. He promised, and along with City Council is now delivering, programs created to provide affordable housing and to address the expanding crisis of homelessness in our city.
In addition to more and better programs to prevent evictions and homelessness (the best solution to homelessness is always prevention), the City has launched programs including priority targeting of a small number of NYCHA public housing units to families in the city homeless shelter system and three rental programs to provide partial subsidies to a modest number of homeless families in city homeless or domestic violence shelters if they can find a low rent apartm…

HUD Reports 1 in 10 People Experiencing Homelessness in U.S. Is Living in NYC

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released its “2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress” estimating 578,424 people were experiencing homelessness either on the streets or in shelters on a given night in January, 2014. The information wasn’t surprising or really new, but it underscores the need to prevent, fight and end homelessness in New York City.
New HUD Secretary Julian Castro pointed out the report indicates a reduction in homelessness across the U.S. of 10% since January of 2010. Unfortunately New York City hasn’t fared as well.
The HUD report estimates 80,590 people experiencing homelessness in the Empire State on that January evening – about 13% of the entire national estimate – representing a 4.1% year-over-year increase and a 28.7% increase over the last seven years.  HUD reported 67,810 people experiencing homelessness just in New York City, meaning more than 1 in every 10 person experiencing homelessn…

Today, November 4th, Is Election Day. Please Vote!

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Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
Care for the Homeless client leaders, including members of our Consumer Advisory Board, recently completed a nonpartisan Voter Registration Drive that signed up 254 new voters, all eligible to vote tomorrow. That’s a CFH Voter Registration record. It breaks last year’s record setting drive success. Our client leaders have the satisfaction of having helped people to register and some great memories from the effort. They registered people with past criminal records who didn’t know they had the right to vote. In New York anyone not currently incarcerated for a felony or on active parole (people on probation have the right to vote) has the right to vote.
They also registered people who were homeless and thought not having a regular permanent fixed address meant they couldn’t register. But being poor or homeless certainly doesn’t mean you lose your right to vote.
At Care for the Homeless we believe poor policy choices helped create the evil that is modern …

Wise Investment to Protect Human Services

Bobby Watts, Executive Director 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that his agencies would hold spending at current levels despite a record budget surplus. But by refusing to spend on programs that both create jobs and help the most vulnerable amongst us, he misses an opportunity to grow the economy and help our communities. My organization, which employs over 100 staff members, is emblematic of what the governor could do if he invested a small percentage of the surplus into groups like ours. We fight homelessness—and provide good jobs for New Yorkers. Homelessness in New York City has reached a tipping point, and we’re on the front lines of a crisis. There are over 57,000 people sleeping in city shelters nightly, 24,700 of those being children, and shelters can no longer meet the demands. The average length of stay in a homeless shelter is now longer than a year. Unfortunately, because of state budget cuts, human services agencies that aid the city’s homeless population are forced…

Care for the Homeless Takes Part in Community Forum on Creating Livable Communities for All

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
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 …

Debra Messing teams up with Care for the Homeless to help homeless families

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Care for the Homeless teamed up with actress Debra Messing, Curél®  skincare and Direct Relief to provide 500 personal care packs filled with basic hygiene supplies and skincare products to help homeless families in need at our health fair Tuesday in East Harlem.
Curél® skincare sponsored the initiative to offer comfort to some of the most vulnerable women and children of New York City. Direct Relief, a generous supporter of Care for the Homeless since the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helped launch our new Mobile Health Clinic, which allows us to deliver medical care to homeless people in need on a regular basis and also boosts our capacity to respond to future emergencies. 
The assistance comes at a critical time. "Homelessness is going down nationwide, but it's going up 40 percent in New York City," said Debra Messing.
“The homelessness crisis has hit NYC families especially hard. The numbers are staggering, with over 23,000 children sleeping in city shelters every nigh…

Hostile Laws, Hateful Acts Bolster Stigma Against Homeless

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy They call it the "poor door." It's a classic example of stigmatizing poverty. So much so it riled up New Yorkers this summer, and people are still talking about it. A Manhattan developer created a separate entrance for the 55 nonmarket "affordable housing" tenants in his 33-story, waterfront, luxury high-rise – hence, the "poor door." Most people may not have been aware of it, but this is hardly the first luxury development in the City providing affordable units through a poor door. Ugly demonstrations in Queens' Elmhurst neighborhood over a new homeless shelter at the previously vacant Pan American Hotel came replete with angry confrontations between community residents and children housed at the family shelter; name-calling and crowds grew so daunting officials interceded to take the homeless kids to a movie to keep them away from another protest. While it made for compelling summer TV viewing, it was just part o…

Top 5 Reasons Why We Love You

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Yes, ALL of you
Donors like you make our work possible. This month, we wanted to say a special note of thanks, and then, we realized we had more than one thing to say. 
Here are the top 5 reasons why we love you: 
5.  Your support is critical, funding program expansions like our new Mobile Health Clinic
4. You inspire others to give, volunteer, and advocate. 
3. You are passionate about transforming the lives of homeless families
2. The impact of your support is felt in your communities
1. You give more than money; you provide hope to more than 8,000 homeless men, women, and children.



Thank you for making our work possible.

Political Courage and Homelessness in New York City

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy

Few things in life are rarer than real political courage.
How often do you find political leaders, particularly elected officials longing to stay elected, standing up for locally unpopular issues at the height of their controversy? This is the province of unique experience, strange curiosity and genuine oddity.
Yet at a time of dramatically increasing stigmatization of poor and especially homeless people, particularly in New York City’s Queens Borough where several new homeless shelters have or are scheduled to open, New Yorkers have been treated to an extraordinary show of bravery from political leaders speaking out for what is unpopular among their electorate seemingly just because it’s the right thing to do.
That’s about as quirky as the Big Apple itself.
In July, the City’s Department of Homeless Services opened a family homeless shelter in the defunct former Pan American Hotel in Queen’s Elmhurst neighborhood. It opened on an emergency basis, meaning w…

Health Empowered Beauty Fashion Show Draws Sold-Out Crowd

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Care for the Homeless Kicks Off NYC Fashion WeekBilled as the only fashion show during NYC Fashion Week that changed the lives of homeless women--the event featured residents of Susan's Place, our 200-bed shelter for homeless women in the Bronx, as models. The sold-out crowd gave several standing ovations during the event, which raised more than $8,000 for Susan's Place. 

One of the models, Lizette, talked about the struggles she's overcome in her own life, sharing: "A couple of years ago, I never would have had the self-confidence to do something like this."

Since opening the shelter in 2008, over 900 women have moved out of Susan's Place and into permanent housing. Less than 8% become homeless again.


View photos from the September 4th Fashion Show in our online Photo Album here.

Looking for more information about the incredible designers who generously sponsored the Fashion Show?  Follow the links below to learn more about the clothing lines.
Monif C.Sofistafu…

Basic Algebra @ Care for the Homeless

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Your Partnership + Care for the Homeless = Success! 30,000+ school supplies were donated to our Back to School Drive, not only did you fill a back pack but you filled a high need! 
There are over 80,000 homeless school children in New York City, and thanks to you they are prepared for the 2014-2015 academic year. 
A very, very special thanks goes out to the employees at West Side Foods for donating 22 boxes of school supplies, 4 Kids in Need for a fun back to school event, the Institute for Family Health for their continuous partnership, and YOU our extraordinary supporters! 
We are HONORED to count all of you among our generous sponsors, see you next year! 



See more photos of our Back to School Drive supporters and the children after the jump.

Here’s A Summer Must Read, and a Brave Call to Action

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer published a great article in Sunday’s New Daily News that startled a number of people.  It was startling because Councilman Van Bramer wrote about his own family’s experience with homelessness – a story certainly most people had never heard.
It was a great story because Van Bramer put a face on homelessness and touched people who normally don’t think about homelessness or that the next homeless family in New York might be very much like your neighbor’s family, your own relatives or perhaps the family of your Council member or you.
Van Bramer used his story to call on all citizens to be part of the solution: “As the city declares war on inequality and Mayor de Blasio rightly takes a humane and honest approach to ending homelessness, we must all be part of the solution. All human beings have a right to shelter. Some may say that’s feel-good liberalism run amok, but in the City of New York, it happens to be t…

Congratulations to City Councilman Steve Levin

On Winning Dedication Award from NYC PHCH Last week City Councilman Steve Levin, Chairman of Council’s General Welfare Committee, was the recipient of a “Dedication to Improving the Lives of NYC Under Served People” Award presented by the NYC Providers of Health Care for the Homeless (PHCH).  CFH is a charter member of PHCH and CFH Assistant Executive Director Debbian Fletcher-Blake introduced Councilman Levin and presented him with the award.
Councilman Levin has long fought for poor, homeless or underserved New Yorkers and as Committee Chair has been a leading advocate for targeting housing resources to people experiencing homelessness. He told the group of 100 participants at the conference “people who do the life-saving and life-changing work of providing health care and help to homeless people, usually with little recognition, are an inspiration to me in my work on Council” and promised to “be a partner in the fight to do what is right.”
Also recognized at the conference was Car…
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Fill a backpack, fill a need!


Did you know there are over 80,000 homeless school children in New York City? 
Thousands of homeless parents are worrying about not being able to afford the items on their children’s school supply list. 
You can help ensure that homeless children are not left behind or forgotten by donating much needed school supplies this summer. This small gesture creates an encouraging environment for academic success by building confidence for the new academic year.
When: July 17 - August 22
Where: Drop off supplies at 30 East 33rd Street, 5th Floor, NY, NY 10016              or Susan's Place 1911 Jerome Avenue, BX. 
Questions? Email Rosanna at rmontilla@cfhnyc.org or call 212-366-4459 ext. 202. 
Thank you to our committed sponsors, West Side Foods, 4 Kids in Need, Institute for Family Health and all of our generous donors for inspiring homeless children.


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785 of Our Homeless Clients will Now Have Their Basic Needs MetBecause of your support, the Toiletry Drive was a huge success this year, bringing in well over 7,000 pieces of toiletries!

Thanks to donations from our caring supporters, Colgate, DNA Public Relations, Hope and Comfort, Inc., and more, we have gathered thousands of toiletries that will be distributed to homeless clients all over New York City.
The College of Mount Saint Vincent students, participants of the TRIO program, have volunteered at Susan’s Place for two consecutive years. Yesterday, in a race against time, they broke their own record and assembled 785 toiletry kits, surpassing last year’s goal!

Thank you for continuing to support Care for the Homeless. We can’t do it without you!  

Save the Date: September 4 Fashion Show Fundraiser

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Health Empowered BeautyJoin us on September 4, 2014 for our annual Health Empowered Beauty Fashion Show Fundraiser to benefit Susan's Place. A fashion show unlike any other, this inspiring event will feature Susan's Place homeless clients as models.
Tickets start at $20! Click here to purchase tickets and get more information.
Health Empowered Beauty Fashion Show Thursday September 4, 2014 at 6:30 PM @Subud Chelsea Center  230 West 29th Street (Map)  Subway: 1 to 28th Street or B,D,F,M,N,Q,R  to 34th Street Herald Square 
Learn more on our website.




Municipal ID Signed into Law

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On July 10, 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed theMunicipal ID Law, creating a creates a municipal identification card that will be accepted by city agencies and give New Yorkers greater access to cultural, educational and commercial services. Care for the Homeless strongly advocated for the Municipal ID bill since its introduction. One of our client leaders, Anthony Wiliams, was one of 12 advocates who testified at the Mayoral Public Hearing the day before the law was signed and the only homeless advocate who spoke. Read his testimony below. Earlier this spring, Care for the Homeless testified at a New York City Council Hearing on the bill. Read more after the jump.
Care for the Homeless Client Testimony Supporting Municipal ID Legislation By Anthony Williams, Client Leader Presented to New York City Mayoral Public Hearing, July 9, 2014
My name is Anthony Williams. I’m a client leader with Care for the Homeless in New York City, an organization that has advocated for the municipal ID legi…