“When we find ourselves in discordant conditions, we should never say, ‘Oh. what’s the use?’ Rather, we should say, ‘There is something in me is greater than this condition and it can dissolve it.'” -Ernest Holmes
According to Crain’s New York, New York City has awarded a $369 million contract to an organization to provide social services and supplies to homeless families living in hotels. The three-year contract was given to Children’s Community Services Inc.
Some may view the awarding of this 9-figure contract with bewilderment since the same administration that vowed to end the use of hotels as a means to house the homeless, is now making such a contractual deal.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) claims that the city is currently in the “phase-out period of hotels.” Crain’s New York quotes DHS’s spokesperson as stating the following: “During the phase-out period of hotels, as mentioned in the mayor’s plan to turn the tide on the city-wide challenge of homelessness, we’ve brought providers under contract to better improve services and reduce costs. The contract covers far more than just a roof over one’s head, and includes necessary kitchen and living essentials, security and social services to help homeless New Yorkers get back on their feet and return to the community.” [SIDEBAR: I find the “return to the community” statement interesting. It’s telling that a statement that is usually used regarding inmates leaving incarceration is used in regards to homeless people.]
Last week, the Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) quit his job. He is the third deputy commissioner in three years to vacate the position.
According to the New York Daily News, the most recent DHS Deputy Commissioner had an annual salary of $180,000 According to New York City’s website, the area median income (AMI) for an individual living in New York City in 2017 was $66,800. To have several people abandon a position that pays more than 2 ½ times the geographic region’s AMI, in a city in which it can be challenging to draw such an income, says a lot about that position and the Department of Homeless Services.
[ALSO NOTE: Before the mayor’s approximately 15% raise due for 2018, the salary of the Deputy Commissioner of DHS was only $45,000 less than the salary of the NYC Mayor.]
The term, “street homeless,” is used to described homeless people who are not in the homeless shelter system, and instead live on the streets.
According to a recent New York Daily News article, the number of street homeless in New York City increased in 2017 by 39%. The article states that in 2016 there were 2,838 people in New York City who were street homeless. In 2017, that statistic skyrocketed to 3,936.
“Be thankful for the defeat which men call failure, because if you can survive it and keep on trying it gives you a chance to prove your ability to rise to the heights of achievement in your chosen field of endeavor.
No one has the right to brand you as a failure except yourself.
If, in a moment of despair, you should feel inclined to brand yourself as a failure, just remember those words of the wealthy philosopher, Croesus, who was adviser to Cyrus, king of the Persians:
‘I am reminded, O king, and take this lesson to heart, that there is a wheel on which the affairs of men revolve and its mechanism is such that it prevents any man from being always fortunate.’” -Napoleon Hill
“The people of a city respond to the mass psychology that dominates the city. If a group of leaders engage in sufficient action to give a city the reputation of being a “live-wire” city, this action influences all who live there.” -Napoleon Hill
We must all contribute, collectively, to making this city a great place to live. Consideration for others, and speaking up for what is right is something that must be valued and relentlessly implemented. I’ve heard more than a few people talk about the declining morals of society. This decline directly relates to the other societal challenges we are witnessing, and how those challenges are being addressed. The “small things” we do, and how we do them, matter greatly.
-The Homeless New Yorker
“Every New Yorker should be outraged at the incompetence and even cruelty at the Department of Homeless Services. These families and children are ripped from their homes at a moment’s notice, traumatized again because DHS is failing in every way to address homelessness.” -Jimmy Van Brammer (NYC Councilmember) on the sloppy, forced transition of homeless families from a Queens hotel shelter. [Source: NY Daily News]
It’s only approximately three weeks into 2018, and there has already been at least two deaths of newborn babies in two different New York City homeless shelters.
In both cases, the New York City Daily News states that the cause of death of the babies has not yet been determined.
On the first Wednesday of 2018, a baby living in a Queens shelter, Saratoga Family Inn, died. This is not the first time a baby has perished as this shelter. In 2004, a three-month old baby died at the shelter after being found unconscious. In 2003, twin babies also died at the shelter via suffocation.
Yesterday, according to the New York Daily News, a baby born at the Callaway Family Residence, a shelter for pregnant women located in the Bronx, died after he was found not breathing.