April 24th, 2022 -- New York, NY -- Housing Works, a NYC non-profit organization that provides advocacy, support, and lifesaving services to those impacted by homelessness and HIV/AIDS, welcomed Mayor Adams’ announcement today committing to increased funding for safe havens and stabilization beds. Housing Works maintained its call to end homelessness through a housing first approach, not through subway sweeps, encampment evictions, and other interventions that criminalize people experiencing homelessness.
Housing Works welcomes the proposed $171 million in baseline funding for safe havens and stabilization beds, as well as Mayor Adams’ stated goal of reaching 4,000 new stabilization and safe haven beds by the end of the year. To be as effective as possible, these facilities should provide a full suite of supportive services, and should accommodate people who use drugs, particularly during the recent disturbing increases of overdose deaths and deaths among homeless New Yorkers. While safe havens and stabilization beds are welcome supports for people experiencing homelessness, Housing Works acknowledges that these interventions are not enough to serve people who are unstably housed or rent burdened. We call for this investment in stabilization beds and safe havens to be paired with a substantial increase in funding for permanent housing and supportive housing for very low-income people.
Housing Works’ Chief Executive Officer, Charles King, said, “We believe that most homeless people living on the streets and in our subway system will welcome safe havens and stabilizations facilities as an alternative to congregate shelters, where many homeless people have experienced violence. But, these folk then need to transition to permanent housing with the type of supports that will allow them to stay housed. Adequate supportive housing will require a much more significant investment of both capital and operating dollars from New York City.”
Housing Works calls on Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul to support targeted outreach about these safe havens and stabilization beds as they become available, and to immediately end brutal subway sweeps, encampment evictions, and other law enforcement responses that criminalize homelessness. These cruel assaults on homeless New Yorkers infringe on their legal rights, disrupt their connections to service providers, and force them into unneeded contact with the criminal justice system. Criminalizing homelessness is incompatible with Mayor Adams’ stated support for harm reduction.
About Housing Works
For 30 years, Housing Works has fueled the fight to end HIV and homelessness. Our Thrift Shops and signature events directly benefit our trailblazing work in grassroots activism, healthcare, and housing. Housing Works serves over 25,000 low-income New Yorkers annually and operates over 700 units of transitional and permanent supportive housing. Housing Works led the way during the height of the AIDS crisis in New York City, and continues to lead advocacy efforts across the country in support of social justice.
Housing Works is opening a drop-in center and stabilization facility at 231 Grand Street in Little Italy this coming May. The drop-in center will be open for up to 50 homeless people living on the streets 24-hours a day. The stabilization facility will provide private rooms to 94 homeless people. The facility will have 24-hour health care services as well as behavioral health therapists, case managers and housing placement specialists.