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Home-Stat Reaches New Milestone: Nearly 1,500 Unsheltered Homeless New Yorkers Helped Off Streets

Outreach teams increase monthly placements by 31% in Fiscal Year 2017, averaging 248 placements per month

The de Blasio Administration recently announced that nearly 1,500 street homeless New Yorkers have successfully transitioned off the streets and into safer, more stable environments, including transitional programs and permanent housing, as a result of the persistent, dedicated efforts of HOME-STAT outreach teams across the five boroughs. From the spring of 2016 through November 2017, through strong collaboration between the Department of Homeless Services, the New York City Police Department, Agency partners, and not-for-profit social service providers, the City has placed a total of 1,480 New Yorkers experiencing street homelessness into permanent housing or transitional settings, all of whom remain off the streets—thanks to new investments in outreach programs and providers, a dramatic increase in dedicated shelter capacity, and a doubling in the number of outreach staff deployed around the clock in all five boroughs.

“It can take dozens or more contacts to convince homeless New Yorkers to come in off the streets and into permanent housing,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This new milestone proves that our strategy is working and that the growing partnership between the NYPD and our homeless outreach workers is producing more contacts and more transitions from streets and subways into shelter for homeless New Yorkers. The problem wasn’t created overnight and won’t be solved overnight, but we’re headed in the right direction.”

“Through persistence, compassion, and this Administration’s unprecedented commitment of resources to street and subway outreach efforts, the City has helped nearly 1,500 homeless New Yorkers come in from the streets and into transitional programs or permanent housing,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “Since launching HOME-STAT, the most comprehensive outreach program in the country, we have dramatically increased our investment in dedicated street homeless programs, doubling the number of outreach staff working around the clock in all five boroughs, tripling the number of specialized beds supporting street homeless New Yorkers, and enhancing our partnerships with the NYPD, other City Agencies and not-for-profit service providers to reach more New Yorkers more frequently. We continue to use every tool at our disposal to build the trust and individual relationships that will encourage ‎homeless New Yorkers to come off the streets and out of the subways.”

In December 2015, the City initiated HOME-STAT (Homeless Outreach & Mobile Engagement Street Action Teams), a citywide multiagency initiative to combat street homelessness in which hundreds of highly-trained not-for-profit outreach staff, including licensed social workers, canvass the streets 24/7/365, proactively engaging homeless New Yorkers, offering services and assistance, and working to gain their trust with the goal of addressing the underlying issues that may have caused or contributed to their street homelessness in order to ultimately help these individuals transition off the streets.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ending homelessness. With a dedicated not-for-profit provider for each borough (the Manhattan Outreach Consortium, led by CUCS in partnership with Goddard-Riverside, in Manhattan; Breaking Ground in Brooklyn and Queens; BronxWorks in the Bronx; Project Hospitality on Staten Island; and BRC in the subways), HOME-STAT outreach teams working around the clock across the five boroughs, building relationships by making regular—often daily—contact with street homeless New Yorkers: getting to know them, developing trust, and sharing information about the resources available to them.

Not-for-profit outreach provider partners and outreach teams also have psychiatrists who perform psychiatric evaluations on the streets and thereby help outreach teams understand and better meet the individual needs of each street homeless New Yorker. These clinicians and psychiatrists help outreach teams make more effective connections with clients who may be difficult to engage, in many cases due to significant mental health challenges. HOME-STAT also provides aftercare services, continuing to work with individuals who receive placements to ensure that they get the supports they need to remain in housing and off of the street.

Since 2014, the de Blasio Administration has committed unprecedented new resources to street outreach programs and providers:

  • Increasing joint outreach operations with City Agency partners to utilize each Agency’s expertise, engage more New Yorkers, and offer more supports. As part of our HOME-STAT efforts, DHS regularly performs joint operations with community stakeholders and Agency partners, including the NYPD, the Parks Department, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Department of Transportation. Earlier this month, DHS and NYPD expanded joint outreach operations in Midtown, Manhattan to seven days per week, further increasing the number of individuals with whom the City is constantly engaged as well as the number of contacts made in the effort to encourage homeless New Yorkers to accept services and transition indoors.
  • More than doubling the City’s investment in street homeless programs, increasing by more than $53M (119%) from $44.6M in FY14 to more than $97.6M in FY18.
  • Nearly tripling the number of beds dedicated to supporting street homeless New Yorkers citywide since 2014, with hundreds of beds opened during this Administration, hundreds more coming online this year, and an additional commitment to another 250 beds, increasing the operating total from roughly 600 beds to nearly 1,800 beds.
  • More than doubling the number of outreach staff canvassing the streets engaging New Yorkers 24/7/365 since 2014, from 191 to nearly 400. Those outreach staff spend months building relationships by making regular—often daily—contact with street homeless New Yorkers: getting to know them, building trust, and sharing information about the resources available to them. It can take months of persistent and compassionate engagement to successfully connect street homeless individuals with City services (5 months on average).
  • Building the City’s first-ever by-name list of individuals known to be homeless and residing on the streets to improve delivery of services. Central to the HOME-STAT effort, these outreach teams continue to build the City’s first-ever by-name list of individuals known to be homeless and residing on the streets, more effectively enabling the teams to directly and repeatedly engage New Yorkers in need where they are, continually offering supports and case management resources while developing the trust and relationships that will ultimately encourage these individuals to accept services and transition off of the streets. As part of that by-name list, outreach teams now know more than 2,000 individuals by name who are confirmed to be homeless and living on the streets and are actively engaging more than 1,500 individuals encountered on the streets to evaluate their living situations and determine whether they are homeless as well as what specific supports they may need.
  • Helping nearly 1,500 individuals off the streets who’ve remained off the streets. In the roughly year-and-a-half since the launch of HOME-STAT in Spring 2016, the City has helped 1,480 people transition off the streets into transitional programs or permanent housing, due in part to a doubling in the number of street homeless outreach workers dedicated to cultivating relationships with our street homeless neighbors and connecting them with the services they need.

Accepting outreach efforts, including services that will help homeless New Yorkers transition indoors from the streets, is voluntary. It can take months of persistent and compassionate engagement and hundreds of contacts to successfully connect street homeless individuals with City services. Together, the City and not-for-profit outreach service provider partners remain undeterred in the ongoing effort to engage unsheltered New Yorkers proactively, offering services and support, until making the connection that will help them transition off the streets and out of the subways. HOME-STAT outreach teams continue to reach-out to these New Yorkers to offer services and help them come indoors.

"New Yorkers know that we face a crisis of homelessness in our city, one caused by a shortage of affordable housing, a lack of living wages, and inadequate services for those with severe mental and physical health needs,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “Addressing this crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck, broad-based approach including outreach, housing, and support. The HOME-STAT program has become an integral part of this work, and I am pleased to see that it is becoming increasingly effective at getting our homeless neighbors in off the streets. I thank Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Homeless services for continuing to do the hard work of finding solutions to the problem of homelessness."

“Homeless New Yorkers living on the street face immense challenges and it’s up to us to lead them on the path towards permanent housing,” saidCouncil Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the Committee on General Welfare. “Meeting individuals one-on-one, getting to know them, and treating them with dignity is critical. Without trust, there can be no progress. The City’s outreach teams, collaborating with community partners and law enforcement, have worked hard to get results and I expect more milestones to be reached in the future.”

“As a partner of the HOME-STAT initiative, our BRC outreach teams are working every day of the year and around the clock to offer a hand up and a way home to New York City’s homeless,” said Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC) Chief Executive Officer Muzzy Rosenblatt. “In 2017, our caring and effective outreach teams placed over 2,000 men and women from New York City subways into shelter and further treatment. The City’s investment in BRC, and work we do and the people we serve, helps us to make the biggest impact possible.”

“With the additional investments in Safe Haven programs, which are an invaluable tool for bringing homeless individuals in out of the cold, the BronxWorks Outreach Team now has access to more of these beds than ever before,” said BronxWorks Assistant Executive Director Scott Auwarter. “The additional funding for more outreach staff has allowed us to identify and serve more homeless individuals on the street. Beyond that, the continued investment in technology for our Outreach Team has enabled us to more effectively respond to 311 calls and other community concerns.”

“The City’s investment and our collective work city wide has paid off significantly,” said CUCS President and CEO Tony Hannigan. “CUCS and its partners helped hundreds of people living on the streets of Manhattan to move into housing during fiscal year 2017.”

"Breaking Ground is proud to partner with the City on HOME-STAT, which has helped us significantly grow our outreach team to reach and serve even more homeless New Yorkers throughout Brooklyn and Queens, and as part of the Manhattan Outreach Consortium,” said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground. “Our outreach workers are on the streets every single day, 24/7, in the extreme cold and sweltering heat because we believe everyone deserves a home. The teams build trust with the homeless, connect them with critical services, and work with them to find a permanent housing solution, giving them a second chance at life.”

“An unprecedented amount of resources, including new stabilization beds on Staten Island coupled with a deep level of passionate partnership and creative collaboration has allowed Staten Island to join the rest of the city in moving a significant number of homeless people off the streets and into life-saving beds with wraparound services this winter,” said Project Hospitality Executive Director Reverend Terry Troia.

“I applaud the work of Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Homeless Services, the NYC Police Department, and my colleagues in government and the non-profit sector for their work this past year in helping transition roughly 1,500 of New York’s street homeless to lives of stability through the consistent efforts of the Homeless Outreach & Mobile Engagement Street Action Teams (HOME-STAT) initiative. I look forward to our continued work together to develop and implement unique and sustainable solutions to stem the tide of homelessness in New York.” said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (A.D. 28).

"A New Yorker becoming street homeless does not happen in a vacuum. It is encouraging that HOME-STAT has brought together so many partners to make significant strides in helping New Yorkers to access critical services and shelter," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "In the midst of our City's homelessness crisis, I thank Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Homeless Services for implementing an empathetic and comprehensive plan to address the needs of these individuals as a way to make progress on the broader homelessness and housing challenges in our City."