The Mayor's FY 2011 Executive Budget proposal includes dramatic reductions in funding for street homeless services, homelessness prevention, and shelter and services for vulnerable New Yorkers -- and will lead to more homelessness.
Coalition for the Homeless has released a briefing paper analyzing Mayor Bloomberg's proposed budget cuts. The Mayor's FY 2011 Executive Budget proposal calls for sharp reductions in the following vital services:
• Shelter and services for street homeless New Yorkers
• Homelessness prevention
• Mental health and medical services for homeless individuals
• Emergency shelter for homeless and runaway youth
• Support services for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS
• Employment and housing services for homeless families
Next week, the New York City Council will hold hearings on the Mayor's Executive Budget, and commissioners from the NYC Department of Homeless Services and other key agencies are expected to testify. We urge City Councilmembers to ask tough questions about the impact of the Mayor's proposed cuts, including:
• The economic downturn and high unemployment have contributed to record numbers of newly homeless families entering the NYC shelter system. How will cutbacks in prevention services affect that problem?
• Given reports of more homeless people on the streets, how will closing drop-in centers and eliminating shelter beds affect that worsening problem?
• The new NYC Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond has said he plans "to import more of the work-based philosophy that dominates the city's welfare agency to the homeless services system." And the City plans to change its Advantage rent subsidy program to restrict it only to homeless families with employment income. Why, then, does the Mayor's budget cut nearly $1.5 million in shelter based employment services for homeless families?
• Given that many homeless adults have serious mental illnesses and other health problems -- particularly those residing in so-called "next step" shelters -- why does the Mayor's budget cut funding for mental health and medical services in a dozen adult shelters?
• Amidst reports of rising numbers of homeless and runaway youth, why does the Mayor's budget fail to include more than $5 million for emergency shelter beds for homeless youth?
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