Coalition for the Homeless Statement on 2021 HOPE Survey

NEW YORK — The following statement from Coalition for the Homeless is in response to the Department of Homeless Services’ release of its Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) Survey of unsheltered homelessness in New York City, conducted in January 2021.

“The numbers in the recently released HOPE survey do not come close to reflecting the true scope of New York City’s unsheltered homelessness crisis. Both the nighttime shutdown of the subway system – which resulted in widespread displacement of unsheltered individuals – and the different methodology used in this year’s survey – including vastly reduced counting hours – undermine Mayor de Blasio’s claims of success. There are clearly many more unsheltered homeless New Yorkers than are reflected in this flawed point-in-time estimate. Furthermore, the latest HOPE numbers reflect a year of increased stigmatization and callousness toward people without homes and heavy-handed removals by police that have made it exponentially more challenging to offer shelter, housing, and services to those who need it most. The erasure of people left out of the HOPE survey due to subway shutdowns and displacement is not something to celebrate,” said Giselle Routhier, Policy Director at Coalition for the Homeless.