Rebecca suffers from schizophrenia and has not had a stable home since she was in her teens. Remarkably, when Rebecca applied for shelter, she was assigned to one designed for homeless women who are employed. One of the shelter rules is that residents must save a quarter of their income each month. Without a job or even public assistance benefits, Rebecca literally had nothing to save.
Rebecca was snared in a no-win situation, which has become more prevalent in recent years. Shelters are under increased pressure to eject anyone who is found to be "non-compliant" with administrative rules, and shelter operators no longer have the option to transfer someone like Rebecca to a shelter with more helpful programs.
Although clearly struggling with mental health issues, Rebecca was never given even a cursory psychiatric evaluation during her three years in the shelters. When she came to our Crisis Intervention walk-in center, she had just been ejected from her shelter. Our crisis counselors arranged an interview the same day with a psychiatrist and scheduled a hearing to appeal her shelter eviction. It would take a few days to sort out this complicated situation, and during this time, she had no place to stay. While we searched for an appropriate long-term placement, the Coalition paid for Rebecca's food as well as a four night stay in a Brooklyn hotel.
Thanks to the work of the Coalition's Crisis Staff, Rebecca was saved from having to sleep on the streets and was able enter a Manhattan shelter where she received the health care she needed.more stories of homeless new yorkers