I’m going to start to put up weekly quotes of some of the incredulous things that have been said to me by governmental employees and other workers who I have crossed paths with since I have entered New York City’s shelter system.
I never fail to go to a meeting with a pen and a paper in hand; so I have quite a collection. The quotes keep getting more and more outrageous, and sadly, disheartening.
The quotes I will post is a good glimpse into the red tape and demeaning disrespect citizens have to endure while seeking the basic necessity of housing.
There will be a new red tape quote every Friday, starting August 5th.
Love, Peace & Humanity,
Homeless New Yorker
P.S. You will not want to miss these posts!
• Is New York trying to solve its homeless problem by shipping homeless citizens out of New York?
• Shady realtor practices.
• Is your housing specialist lying to you?
• How safe is your confidential information in a shelter?
• Sex offenders in the NYC shelter system.
• Are all NYC shelter protocols in writing? Are you entitled to have a copy of them upon request?
• Are you entitled to have a copy of any documents you sign at the shelter?
• Is your shelter’s housing specialist prepared to help you move out of the shelter?
• What type of training and housing-information resources is your housing specialist equipped with?
• What is the function of the LINC hotline?
• The housing voucher application debacle.
• Workforce; Back to Work (B2W) vendors.
• Filing a grievance/complaint against a HRA/PA worker.
I started this website after I entered the New York City homeless shelter system due to my family’s housing issues. Early on in my residency in NYC shelters, I experienced administrative red tape that created debilitating obstacles that threatened my employment, my physical health, my ability to secure housing, and a slew of other life-sustaining factors.
My red-tape experiences were the catalyst for the creation of this site. I felt it was necessary to create an outlet that would allow me to express exactly what I was going through as a homeless person in New York City.
Upon creating this website, it was my intention to remain completely anonymous on this online vehicle. However, as I began to speak out online and contact Department of Homeless Services administrators, via my online handle, regarding the issues I was experiencing in the shelter system, I was coaxed into revealing my identity to various online liaisons under the guise that they were seeking to address my issues, and rectify the problems I was facing. In good faith, I revealed my identity to them. I wish I could tell you that my issues with the shelter system’s level of competency and red tape has been properly addressed and solved. However, as of today, I emphatically cannot!
Despite writing several letters detailing how administrative protocols and incompetency are adversely affecting me and hindering me from securing proper housing, I am still in the same red-tape boat; only now my identity as the Homeless New Yorker is known to certain departmental members/units in the Department of Homeless Services.
I will still continue to speak out on this website. I have a slew of information and firsthand experiences that I will continue to share in the hopes that we can collectively make this system better. Our lives depend on it.
Love, Peace & Humanity,
Homeless New Yorker
“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” -Frederick Douglass
All of the red tape I attempted to unravel today reminded me of this quote. This quote came to mind because it made me ponder what does a person or system want you be when they go out their way to keep you ignorant?
Any protocols that a system has should be in writing and made available to all participants. If it’s not, there is purposely manufactured chaos and confusion; and at whose expense? And why?
[NOTE: The following information is NOT an endorsement of the aforementioned entity. It is merely a description of the entity as the entity describes itself. The Ombudsman unit of New York City’s Department of Homeless Services is said to be a unit that is independent of the Department of Homeless Services, although its office is located in the same building as the headquarters of DHS. Also, the Ombudsman unit’s contact email address also contains a DHS designation.]
New York City’s website for DHS describes the DHS Ombudsman unit as follows:
“The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) formed the Office of the Ombudsman to assist DHS constituents, as well as the public, to access a wide array of information and services. The Office is an independent and impartial unit whose mission is to support New York City’s homeless population, assist them on their path to fairer access to essential resources, improve their quality of life while in shelter, and advocate for a meaningful role in the decision-making processes that affect their lives.
The Office is charged with resolving constituent issues and concerns through alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation services. Experienced Constituent Services Representatives provide effective conflict resolution, and work to ensure fair and equal access to DHS, City, and community-based services and resources. The staff actively engages constituents and empowers them to participate in positive decision-making processes. With the goal of seeking independent and impartial issue resolution, the Office is responsible for:
Providing information and education on homeless services
Providing a supportive client experience through effective and compassionate listening, and timely client-focused case management
Providing general assistance and communication facilitation, including service referrals and connections
Addressing unresolved grievances or dissatisfied outcomes
Evaluating and investigating client grievances
Strategic data tracking and recommendations to DHS management.”
I would be interested in obtaining statistics in the issues that the Ombudsman unit has resolved and/or addressed. Anyone who can assist me in this endeavor, please contact me. Thanks.
According to New York City, New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has approximately 2,000 employees and a yearly operating budget of approximately $1 billion.
One must ask, with an annual operating budget of close to $1 billion dollars, why is New York City’s homeless population exponentially increasing? Where is the tangible help for citizens of the city who are seeking homes? Exactly how is our tax dollars being spent with regards to homeless citizens?