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Testimony: Supportive Housing and Assisting Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

NYLAG’s work in shelter advocacy as well as our veterans’ practice give our advocates crucial insights into the needs of people experiencing homelessness,  including those within the veteran population.

NYLAG’s Deborah Berkman, Supervising Attorney of the Shelter Advocacy Initiative, and Ryan Foley, Supervising Attorney of the Veterans Practice, submitted testimony to the City Council’s Committees on General Welfare, Housing, and Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction, speaking to the importance of supportive housing as well as legislation requiring reports on removals of individuals experiencing homelessness:

“It is no secret that City has prioritized removing the visibility of people experiencing street homelessness. In fact, the City cleared 3,198 ‘homeless encampments’ from city streets between March 18 and the end of October of 2022 in attempt to get people to enter shelter. However, only 5% of these people entered the shelter system as a result. Instead, in order to truly mitigate street homelessness, the City must create shelters with small rooms that are more accessible to clients. Most of NYLAG’s clients who are experiencing homelessness would come inside if they were offered such a placement in a safe-haven or a stabilization bed. But the need for such placements far outpaces their availability. DHS must significantly increase safe-haven and stabilization bed capacity to meet the needs of those experiencing street homelessness.”

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