Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday announced an additional $171 million for homeless services in his proposed executive budget for the fiscal year 2023.
New York City’s fiscal budget begin on July 1 and ends on June 30. This year's allocation-- according to the mayor's office, the largest of its kind to be made by the city toward homeless services-- will be allocated every year beginning next fiscal year.
“Too many of our fellow New Yorkers are experiencing unsheltered homelessness — but we cannot and will not abandon them,” Adams said in a statement. “We are making the largest investment in street outreach and low-barrier beds that a city administration ever has, in an effort to almost double the number of Safe Haven and stabilization beds available to New Yorkers.”
Adams says the investment will pay for 1,400 Safe Haven and stabilization beds, small-scale alternatives to traditional shelter settings, the creation of three drop-in centers, and an improvement to ongoing outreach efforts.
Adams announced that 500 low-barrier beds designated for homeless New Yorkers would be made available as part of his Subway Safety Plan unveiled in February. An additional 100 beds are expected to be made available in the coming months.
The mayor's announcement comes behind the controversial clearing of 239 homeless encampments across the city by the mayor's task force between March 18 and March 30, with an aim to “clean up” New York City and get unsheltered people into shelters.
However the initial activation saw only five people go into City shelters. Advocates for the homeless were calling on the mayor to immediately halt his removal of homeless encampments, pointing to the low number of people entering shelters as proof that his plan was ineffective.
With the latest announcement, the City aims to have another 570 specialized beds available by the end of the year and another 325 by the middle of 2023, together totaling more than 4,000 beds for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.
“These resources will encourage people to come inside and will pave a way toward permanent housing and the stability that every New Yorker deserves.”
The Mayor's annual expense and capital budget are submitted to the City Council for review and adoption and must be passed by the City Council before July 1.
Council Speaker Adrienne Adams already has expressed support for the $171 million investment.
“Safe Havens, stabilization beds, and drop-in centers with health care services, along with care-centered street outreach, should be the consistent focus of the city’s efforts directed to our unsheltered neighbors,” Speaker Adams said.
“The council is proud to have prioritized elevating the need for investments in these sound policies and practices, and applaud Mayor Adams for committing this level of resources to them in his Executive Budget.”