The de Blasio administration announced the launch of Outreach NYC on Thursday.
Outreach NYC is a brand new, citywide, multi-agency effort to help homeless New Yorkers across the boroughs. The goal of the initiative is to help unsheltered New Yorkers transition off of the subways and streets and into permanent settings.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press release that, “We’ve made significant progress in addressing our city’s homelessness crisis under Turning the Tide — and with Outreach NYC, we’re announcing new steps to take that progress even further.”
De Blasio continued, “We cannot attempt to address this issue in a vacuum. It’s time we all wear one uniform. Outreach NYC is our all-hands-on-deck approach to bring even more people in off the streets.”
Since the initial enhancements shared in August 2019, the city has trained 18,000 city employees. The employees are from five different agencies, including: Department of Sanitation (DSNY), the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the Fire Department (FDNY), the Department of Buildings (DOB), and the Parks Department. New York City is also planning on hiring an additional 180 outreach workers, bringing the total to 550.
They will be trained on how to use the 311 app and all of its resources to help the homeless community, such as how to submit service requests to homeless individuals, which will be sent to the Joint Command Center, managed by the Department of Homeless Services and NYPD.
According to a press release, here’s a breakdown of progress that’s been made since 2014:
• Helping more than 2,200 individuals off the streets and into transitional and permanent settings since the launch of HOME-STAT in April 2016.
• Tripling the city’s investment in street homeless programs, increasing by more than from approximately $45M in 2013 to more than $140M today.
• Tripling the number of outreach staff canvassing the streets engaging New Yorkers 24/7/365 since 2014, from fewer than 200 to more than 550, with those dedicated staff canvassing the streets every day, building relationships over weeks and months through regular contact and concerted engagement with homeless New Yorkers focused on encouraging them to accept services and transition off the streets.
• Tripling the number of emergency ‘safe haven’ and ‘stabilization’ beds dedicated to serving street homeless New Yorkers citywide since 2014, with hundreds of beds opened during this Administration, bringing the total up from 600 to more than 1,800 today, and hundreds more set to open in the coming years, ultimately increasing the total to 2,100 beds dedicated to serving street homeless individuals and available to HOME-STAT outreach teams in their citywide outreach efforts.
• 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, with outreach teams now knowing approximately 1,300 street homeless individuals by name and actively engaging another 2,400 individuals encountered on the streets to determine whether they are homeless.
• Increasing joint outreach operations to engage more New Yorkers and offer more supports, including expanding joint outreach operations with partner agencies such as DOHMH, Parks Department, Department of Sanitation, NYPD, and the MTA to address conditions as they occur and provide alternative pathways to permanence.