Nearly 1,500 people once considered street homeless are now in permanent or transitional housing, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.
The mayor’s office credited HOME-STAT, a homeless outreach initiative that started in 2015, which sends trained outreach staff like social workers to canvas the streets and offer services to those who are homeless.
“It can take dozens or more contacts to convince homeless New Yorkers to come in off the streets and into permanent housing,” de Blasio said in a statement. “This new milestone proves that our strategy is working and that the growing partnership between the NYPD and our homeless outreach workers is producing more contacts and more transitions from streets and subways into shelter for homeless New Yorkers. The problem wasn’t created overnight and won’t be solved overnight, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
According to the mayor’s office, the city has placed a total of 1,480 New Yorkers who were street homeless into permanent or transitional housing from spring 2016 through November 2017.
The initiative comes as the number of homeless people has continued to grow.
In November, there were 63,169 homeless people, including 15,712 families with 23,694 children, using the city’s shelter system, according to The Coalition for the Homeless. In February 2017, a survey by the city’s Department of Homeless Services found 3,892 homeless people on the streets.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams also said Wednesday that a mobile shower service will roll out throughout the borough. The service will be operated by Turning Point Brooklyn and Brooklyn Community Services.
“It will meet the homeless families where they are, to allow them to have access to a shower and some of the basic needs that they have,” Adams said. “I believe the demand is here. People want to be able to clean themselves and that’s what we want to provide.”
The buses will have two shower units as well as soap, sinks, toilets and benches. The buses will target areas near food pantries and hospitals, Adams said.