Coalition for the Homeless Statement In Response to Mayor’s Recommendations for New Yorkers Suffering from Serious Mental Illness

New York, NY — The following statement is in response to the de Blasio administration’s recommendations announced today following a review of services for New Yorkers with untreated serious mental illness:

“The de Blasio administration’s recommendations for New Yorkers with untreated serious mental illness are a mixed bag. Increased mobile treatment teams and outreach are all well and good as long as people have someplace safe to stay. However, Mayor de Blasio continues to get it wrong when it comes to his reliance on inappropriate and ineffective surveillance, policing, and involuntary transport and treatment of people in psychiatric crisis. Expanding the use of court-ordered treatment using Kendra’s Law is not the answer to homelessness – in fact, the vast majority of people with assisted outpatient treatment orders have no history of homelessness at all. At the end of his sixth year in office, it is time for the Mayor to finally accept that what our neighbors on the streets need, first and foremost, is a safe place to live.” – Shelly Nortz, Deputy Executive Director for Policy at Coalition for the Homeless.