Tuesday, March 22, 2011 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tell Mayor Bloomberg: Don’t Play Politics with Homeless Children’s Lives

Mary Brosnahan, Coalition for the Homeless' Executive Director, sent the following message out today to Coalition supporters urging them to send a message to Mayor Bloomberg: Stop playing politics with the lives of homeless children and families.

Dear Coalition supporter,

Mayor Bloomberg is playing politics with the lives of homeless children and families, issuing irresponsible threats in order to defend a failed program that has led to record homelessness. And these threats have just gotten MUCH more dangerous.

We need to tell the Mayor to stop the scare tactics and enact proven, cost-effective policies that genuinely reduce family homelessness.

Here's the background: Mayor Bloomberg is trying to defend a failed subsidy program called "Advantage" that, for many, has become a revolving door back to homelessness. City data show that more than a third of families who've left the "Advantage" program have returned to apply for shelter - but the Bloomberg administration still wants to keep this failed program running.

However, Governor Cuomo wisely withdrew State funds from this flawed program in his budget. State officials have instead urged the City to use its Federal housing resources (like public housing and rent vouchers) to help homeless families move from costly shelters to their own homes. This successful approach, which Mayors Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani used, is both fiscally responsible and highly-effective at moving families into long-term, stable homes.

Last week, instead of doing the right thing, Bloomberg officials dropped a bombshell -- threatening to cut off "Advantage" subsidies on April 1st for 15,000 families already in permanent housing - an unlawful move that we will soon be challenging in court.

Please send a letter to Mayor Bloomberg telling him to stop playing games, and to return to using proven Federal housing programs to help homeless families move from shelters to stable homes.

We've known for years that there are better housing options for homeless families. That's what cities across our state and country do, and what NYC did until Mayor Bloomberg replaced Federal housing aid with failed efforts like the misguided "Advantage" program.

Please send a clear message to Mayor Bloomberg now: Stop the scare tactics and start addressing the problem of homelessness by immediately allowing homeless families to access proven Federal programs!


Mary Brosnahan,
Coalition for the Homeless



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