Unsheltered homeless New Yorkers have long faced daunting challenges and cruel indignities as they draw on meager resources and their own perseverance to survive life on the streets. Their day-to-day struggles include meeting the basic needs for food, clothing, and restrooms, as well as avoiding abuse, including unnecessary, traumatic interactions with law enforcement personnel. Now, as the pandemic continues to shape life in New York City, unsheltered New Yorkers face even greater challenges. New York City and New York State must immediately decriminalize unsheltered homelessness, meet the immediate needs of homeless New Yorkers, and provide them with ready access to stable, permanent affordable and supportive housing options.
To expand access to permanent housing, the City and State must immediately:
To create alternatives to congregate shelters and improve outreach, the City must immediately:
To address the basic survival needs of individuals on the streets, the City must immediately:
To end the criminalization of unsheltered homelessness, the City and State must immediately:
Read our report “View from the Street,” which summarizes the findings of more than 200 interviews with unsheltered New Yorkers staying on the streets of the city and offers recommendations for the City and State to respond more effectively to their needs.