Mayor de Blasio will release a new plan to improve the city’s shelters after a comprehensive report found that New York City’s homeless facilities are plagued by code violations and health risks.
The new report, to be released Wednesday and issued by Controller Scott Stringer, found approximately 18,700 code violations that included a variety of problems from vermin infestation to non-working smoke detectors, the New York Daily News reported. In response, de Blasio plans to improve the city’s ability to identify problems and upgrade shelters quickly.
“For decades our shelters have not been safe enough or clean enough, and that’s just not acceptable,” de Blasio was quoted by the Daily News. “I don’t want anyone refusing to come into a homeless shelter because of bad conditions.”
The mayor’s new, redoubled effort to improve conditions for the homeless will include a “rapid response” program to make immediate repairs, $2 million for a new complaint hotline and an increased number of unannounced shelter visits to monitor conditions, according to the Daily News.
On Tuesday, the mayor also announced his appointment of Dr. Herminia Palacio to the role of Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services, a role which will encompass overseeing the Department of Homeless Services, CBS stated in a related article. Palacio had formerly worked in the health systems of Houston and San Francisco.
From the time de Blasio took office, the number of homeless people in shelters has risen from 53,000 to about 58,000 Monday, the Daily News added.
Of those 58,000, more than 23,000 are children, CBS reported.