NY Daily News: De Blasio Misses the Mark on Homeless Policy
FRIDAY, MAY 05, 2017

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new plan to help homeless New Yorkers off the streets and into shelters. According to the Society’s own Joshua Goldfein, these “swarm teams” will fail to deal with the critical issues facing this City’s homeless population and do little more than sweep needy people away from the eyes of voters.

New York Daily News
De Blasio Misses the Mark on Homeless Policy
May 5, 2017

Manhattan: Re “New NYC ‘swarm teams’ to help homeless get off streets and into shelters” (May 1): City Hall continues to try to “manage” the city’s homelessness crisis when they should be trying to solve it. The mayor’s latest reinvention – “swarm teams” – sounds like a Giuliani-era plan to sweep needy people away from voters’ eyes.

Homeless individuals, who the city acknowledges have a high incidence of mental health issues, need access to housing and services, not warrant sweeps and intimidation. Teams with uniforms that say “DHS” – the same initials as the agency enforcing immigration laws — will scare people and discourage them from coming off the street for services or housing.

More studies, revamped programs and interventions with nonhomeless panhandlers are a waste of time and money. The only true fix to thwart growing homelessness and position recovering homeless on a life course of self-sustainment is permanent affordable housing safeguarded in the city’s control.

Joshua Goldfein
Homeless Rights Project
The Legal Aid Society