Showing posts from April, 2014

Housing Just Isn’t Affordable

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
A new National Low Income Housing Coalition (a Care for the Homeless advocacy partner we’ve worked with advocating for affordable housing for extremely-low income Americans) study reports the average hourly wage a full-time (40 hour-a-week, 52 week a year) required to afford an average two-bedroom apartment is $18.92 an hour.
In a more expensive housing market, finding affordable housing in New York City is much harder. Two-thirds of New Yorkers rent (the national average is about one-third, so affordable rent is more critical here). One-third (1 million) of city tenant households are “rent-burdened” according to HUD (they define households spending over 30% of gross income on housing as “rent-burdened” - their housing isn’t affordable for them). More staggering, 600,000 New Yorkers (20% of all renters) pay over 50% of household income for housing (HUD defines that as “severely rent-burdened”). Several recent studies document New York rents are rising…

Tonight, we celebrate Health, Care and HOPE.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the cocktail reception. The dinner and program begins at 7 p.m.
The Health, Care and Hope Gala Benefiting Care for the Homeless
Edison Ballroom 240 West 47th Street New York, NY 10036
Thank you to our generous corporate sponsors and all our supporters. We hope to see you there!

City Extends More Compassionate Shelter Policy for Homeless Families with Children

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
In recent years families experiencing homelessness, and homeless advocates, have expressed concern and frustration with the difficulties homeless families with children sometimes faced in gaining access to the city’s shelter system. That’s why the Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) decision during the recent brutally cold winter season to waive some of the eligibility requirements and admittance procedures during especially cold times was greeted with such universal appreciation. In life-threatening weather, why not show compassion to homeless families?
But why not show that compassion and concern all the time?
That’s exactly what deBlasio administration policymakers decided to do last week. DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor and elected city Public Advocate Letitia James jointly announced families with children who apply for shelter and aren’t found immediately eligible would nonetheless be allowed to stay the night. Commissioner Taylor, calling it th…

New Mobile Health Clinic to Reach 4,000 New Patients

The Mobile Health Clinic is almost ready for its red carpet debut at next week's Health, Care and Hope Gala

Thanks to the generous support of Direct Relief and the contributions of so many incredible donors like you, the program launches this summer. We're offering a sneak peak tour at this year's Gala. 
The Mobile Health Clinic helps Care for the Homeless grow in three ways:  Program Expansion - reaching over 4,000 new patients in the first five yearsEmergency Preparedness - increasing our capacity to join first responders in an emergencyInnovative Services - reaching multiple locations every week, parking near busy shelters and soup kitchens where there is no space to build a clinic on site."The hallmark of a mobile health program is how nimbly it can respond. The Mobile Clinic is an efficient, cost-effective way to respond to emergencies, ensuring that equipment is not waiting in storage when catastrophe strikes.  Rather, in non-em…

A Municipal ID: “I Am Somebody”

A municipal ID is a great common-sense and cost efficient way to help many vulnerable New Yorkers access and utilize our city’s human service and safety net programs. As an official government ID it holds the promise of access to banking, cultural, educational and business services too often denied or made difficult to get because of insufficient ID. This will be a tremendous resource for our clients and many other New Yorkers. Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Members Menchaca and Dromm deserve a lot of credit for their legislation.”                - Bobby Watts, Executive Director, Care for the Homeless
That’s the quote City Council used last week in announcing introduction of legislation to establish a new official city ID. The proposed program, modeled on working programs in New Haven, Connecticut, in San Francisco, California and other places specifically makes it easier, quicker and more convenient for undocumented workers, people experiencing homelessness or major lif…

A Love Letter to Policymakers

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
Advocates to end homelessness in New York City owe policymakers a love letter, so this is ours. The new de Blasio administration, a new more progressive City Council, new Council General Welfare Chair Steve Levin and their teams are just about 100 days into their responsibilities. And the ship of state is turning.
That’s quite an accomplishment for the highest homelessness rate city in America.
In January, following a decade of crisis growth in homelessness, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) census of city homeless shelters documented just how bleak the situation had become. That month we hit new record census highs for total shelter population (53,615) and children in the system (22,712). Worse yet, over 111,000 people, including more than 40,000 different children, had to use those shelters at some point in 2013. And the duration of stay for homeless families with kids keeps getting longer to its current 435 days (that’s 14 ½ months).
Even that h…

We should all do as much as we can to care for those less fortunate.

From one of our extraordinary donors: “I'm glad I could help. I admire your organization –  we should all do as much as we can to care for those less fortunate.” 
We truly want to take the time to thank all of our donors  for their continuous support. You change lives and save lives.

Something to Celebrate: Better Policy in the New State Budget

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
New Yorkers can celebrate the opportunity for a tool to move people experiencing homelessness from shelters to stable housing because of the last-second success of advocates and policy makers in removing language from the New York State budget that prohibited it.
Yesterday, as state legislators and Governor Cuomo enacted the new state budget, they removed language prohibiting any city in New York of over 5 million (that’s only New York City; the second largest city, Buffalo, has a 260,000 population) from using state money to fund a rental subsidy program for homeless people. That language prohibiting state and federal funding from the old city Advantage program in 2011 has remained in each budget since then.
Just 5 days before this year’s March 31st deadline the prohibitive language was still firmly in place. There were media stories reporting policy makers were saying it was too late in the process to change it. But client leaders, advocates and publ…