The New York Times describes how public spaces are increasingly revealing the impact of homelessness on our city, and the tension created when the more than 3,000 people living on the streets utilize these spaces as a source of respite without other alternatives.

With ongoing debate about regulating behaviors in public spaces, Urban Pathways would like to focus public attention and resources on the causes of the problems – an inadequate supply of affordable housing and a shortage of services for people with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Urban Pathways’ Outreach Teams engage people on the streets offering them access to housing, meals, showers, and clothing provided at our Olivieri Drop-in Center or one of our Safe Havens. Our Housing First approach provides stable housing to homeless individuals first, and then addresses any mental health and/or substance use issues. Its effectiveness is clear: 97% of our formerly homeless clients remain stably housed 12 months later.

We’d like to see the City make a greater impact by allocating 30,000 of the 300,000 units in the Mayor’s housing plan to the homeless, and by increasing the availability of drop-in centers and safe havens.

Addressing the root causes of the problems will have a broader and more lasting impact on our City and all of its inhabitants, especially those who use our public spaces because they have no other viable options.

Frederick Shack, LMSW

CEO, Urban Pathways

Read the New York Times article here.

About Urban Pathways

Urban Pathways is a New York City-based, nonprofit organization that provides housing and support to homeless and at-risk adults throughout the Metropolitan area. Urban Pathways serves more than 3,700 homeless individuals a year and provides transitional, extended stay, and permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals.

By Urban Pathways on November 21, 2018