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HOMELESS AND HOUSING DECEMBER 7, 2021 RECAP

(MSCC) Sharon Jasprizza, December 26, 2021

SUMMARY

December 7, 2021 Homeless and Housing meeting, viewable on MSCC’s Facebook, focused on Medicare vs. Managed Care and an update on November 18, 2021 and the Forum: The Current State of Homelessness in New York and How We Can Solve It, viewable on MSCC’s Youtube channel.

CHAIR: John Mudd, MSCC

INTRODUCTIONS

John Mudd began the meeting with introductions and outlined the purpose of the meeting. 

POLICY MEETING UPDATES

Jen Mallicote updated the committee with the work of the 8.30 am Homeless and Housing Policy committee meeting:

  • Working on creating a resource space with several nonprofits (One Stop Shop) for services and providing information 
  • Managed Care and Medicare updates from the newly formed committee is in a discovery phase. The goals are to gather data on corporate influences on the care for low income, elderly, and others; find allies in informing the public and enrolling the public in the right care; design marketing/education plan to inform and enroll
  • Committee development to research and support resources for street medicine
  • Updates on vouchers and issues such as discrimination from Charisma: New development is impossible to get into, the tax abated properties are not affordable

SPECIAL INTRODUCTION(S) AND UPDATES

Tom Caylor, representing the Westside Neighborhood Alliance, Illegal Hotel Committee, and Coalition against Illegal Hotels, outlined:

  • The Bill is in front of the City Council this Thursday, November 9. It requires short-term rental operators to register with the City. 
  • This will return 40,000 units to NYC housing stock and influence drug deals and associated parties. There is an average of 7 shootings a month in short-term rentals. 
  • There are 21 sponsors for this Bill, and it needs 26 votes

Nancy Young, Fountain House (nyoung@fountainhouse.org) outlined the following:

  • Program with Fortune Society housing people coming from Rikers to connect people with services
  • Working on housing, helping people to get out of shelters, and how to help people suffering substance abuse
  • 52nd St Women’s Shelter is struggling, and conditions are poor
  • Connect Nancy for further information

Sarah Knispel, Fountain House: sknispel@fountainhouse.org

  • People sometimes prefer to sleep in the park rather than shelters because of conditions. Unfortunately shelter residents don’t seem to have the right to be treated with courtesy in shelters. This is a common problem. Sarah is researching what rights residents have and what advocacy is available and documenting in the form of a list. Sarah is happy to share and asks if anyone knows of next steps, organizations and connections to housing. Contact Sarah with information. 
  • John Mudd will connect Sarah with a meeting coming up about this problem
  • Susan Stetzer: sstetzer@cb.nyc.gov, noted that it would be good to document the issues ie problems and shelters. Please email Susan with information and the above list
  • Charisma White suggests in the meeting chat box “No one is really going to say that shelter is bad way to solve the problem the only way is to do a documentary on the issue really go into the situation undercover and getting real facts about the shelter”

Daniel Pichinson, Ryan Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center, daniel.pichinson@ryanchelseaclinton.org, 645 Tenth Avenue, 45/46, 

  • Open to all regardless of ability to pay, medical, eye, dental (dental has a long waiting list though), care navigators to help individuals access benefits
  • Booster vaccinations, flu shots, but due to staff shortages limited to people with appointments
  • Federally qualified health center providing services to all including people who are homeless. Sliding fee scale which is not always enforced. 
  • Looking for nurses and people qualified to give vaccinations. 

Sueranna Antoine, Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services Corporation/Main Chance Drop-In Center, santoine@gcnssc.org

  • Single adult center with a drop-in center, referrals to mental health and substance abuse, assist clients with housing, vouchers, application for 2010E
  • Soup kitchen is open for 3 meals a day. Breakfast 6.30 – 8.00 am, lunch 12.00 – 1.30 pm, Dinner 4.00 – 6.00 pm
  • Pantry is open every 2.00 – 3.30 pm every second Wednesday of each month 
  • Activities such as Christmas Tree lighting today, next Wednesday is the Client Christmas party
  • Working with New York Cares for coats donations and also a drop of point for New York Cares. People needing coats can access them on December 16 or after, between 1.00 – 3.30 pm
  • Accepting donations of coats and sox
  • Walkins at times listed above. ID and vaccinations are not needed, masks are provided.
  • Reach out to Sueranna for support, information

COMMITTEES

John Mudd MSCC, outlined the work the Council is doing and introduced the new Medicare v Managed Care Committee members: Maribel Ruiz, Nancy Pascal, Maya Contreras, Jennifer Mallicote, Sonya D, Nancy Young, Joycelyn Taylor, Sharon Jasprizza and John Mudd. 

MEDICARE VS MANAGED CARE Committee Report 

Nancy Pascal brought the issue to John Mudd concerning the limitations of Managed Care Plans during 2021. At the last Homeless and Housing meeting Nancy outlined some of these issues and as a result this committee was formed.  

Maribel Ruiz is administering the committee to research Managed Care Plans. She outlined the following:

  • It seems people are being shortchanged by Managed Care Plans
  • There are about 24 Managed Care Plans in New York
  • Reported “A state Supreme Court judge Thursday indefinitely halted a proposed cost cutting change in city government retirees’ health care after former municipal workers filed suit seeking to stop the move. In a four-page order, Judge Lyle Frank called the rollout of the switch “irrational, and thus arbitrary and capricious” — and ordered the City to maintain the retirees’ current health care plans. 
    • The suit was filed by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, a group formed in opposition to the move to a privately administered Medicare Advantage plan” (see ADDENDUM A: The CITY 12/1/2021)
  • The committee is researching to determine what work needs to be done
  • Some people are finding out that Managed Care Plan benefits are limited
  • The committee’s aim is to bring the information to this network and determine steps forward 
  • John Mudd related this work to the larger work of MSCC arising from the Columbia Report referencing the need to enroll people in Medicare to access benefits
  • Maribel will provide access to the google docs for people to load research items and to review the work of the committee

Nancy Pascal 

  • Medicare is a government funded, people access it when they turn 62 or when people have chronic illnesses
    • Management of Medicare is being sold to corporations. Corporation are inserting themselves in between care and people. 
    • Medicare is available throughout the country, while Managed Care Plans limit access to doctors and services
  • Questions are being asked if people died during Covid–19 because the care was limited
  • Medicare pays every 7 days; Managed Care Plans pay every 6 weeks or months. Thus, medical personnel prefer Medicare because they are assured of being paid
  • City Employees are not able to access Medicare because of the Managed Care Plan switch referred to in the article (see ADDENDUM A: The CITY 12/1/2021)
  • Some seniors are being given $100 a month to switch to Managed Care Plans
  • https://www.medicarerights.org
  • For those people who are little to no income, poverty stricken, homeless, and Medicare recipients, there is a misconception they must go to a Managed Care Plan. This is not correct 
  • If people’s threshold is less than $1,200 per month, people must take straight Medicare and straight Medicaid. If people are on a Managed Medicaid Program or Part C Managed Care, NYS will switch people automatically when they catch wind of it, because people cannot be on a managed plan and receive straight Medicare
  • There is a need to educate people not to sign up for Part C Medicare Plan. Unfortunately, if you don’t receive Medicare you have to sign up for a Managed Plan
  • If people have problems paying the 20% co-pay on Part B and the Part D premiums, there is a Federal Program, The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program, which pays the premiums through the Medicare office. (QMB Program for Medicare Recipients)
  • More information at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination/Medicare-and-Medicaid-Coordination/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination-Office/QMB
  • In NYC people must ask HRA for an application for the QMB program. Sometimes Medicare will catch it when enrolling in Part D of the program because of eligibility for extra help. This will trigger the QMB application through the State
  • If people have straight Medicare they can not have Managed Care in NYS based on income. But if people are over the income threshold it’s a different story; the insurance companies will chase people to enroll in their Managed Plans
  • Charisma White wants to sign up for Medicare but is on a managed plan and can not access medical equipment that Charisma needs. The care coordinator is having difficulty find a pathway for Charisma to transition to Medicare. Rue Parkin noted that if people are deemed disabled, then 3 months from date of determination, Medicare will send a Medicare card. People need to call HRA when the card arrives and apply for straight Medicaid. SSI and SSP is not enough to receive Medicare. There is a need to have SSD also to get Medicare. A need to apply for the SSD application
  • John Mudd will reach out to Dan Pichinson to seek support for Charisma 
  • Rue Parkin will provide further information about the above to the committee at a future time. Contacts and calendar link are listed above
  • Others are invited to join the committee to help the committee. Email John.mudd@usa.net with your interest

Forum: The Current State of Homelessness in New York and How We Can Solve It, and mandates from the Healthcare Access and Coordination, November 18, 2021 

John Mudd, MSCC, updated the committee with the forum results and noted more work was to be done. See ADDENDUM B outlines the actions and next steps

PUBLIC CONCERNS

Charisma White needs help to find supportive housing for a couple. 

  • John Mudd will speak with Serafina Payne, LMSW, Community Affairs Coordinator, Manhattan Outreach Consortium,  and will add this topic to the next meeting’s agenda John will also send out emails seeking support also 
  • Serafina asked John and Charisma to send further details (names, location and description of problems). Serafina will contact her partners in Brooklyn and provide outreach services to support the couple
  • Rue Parkin referred to the supported housing peer program at Baltic Street which helps with 2010E Application and CUCS interfacing, https://balticstreet.org/?page_id=2032
  • Nancy Pascal referred to Medicare Rights Center which assists people with Medicare access and those having difficulty. https://www.medicarerights.org
  • Lili Lopez, NY Connects, Outreach Specialist 646-457-5364 llopez@cidny.org connects people with any disability, any age to services, resources, or it can be based on people’s needs. NY Connects provides services for housing, Medicare, SSI and rental assistance applications.  NY Connects do not reject anyone and will refer undocumented people to services. Call 844-862-7930. Lili will provide MSCC with the new office address when it becomes available
  • John Mudd referred to the search for space for a one stop shop 
  • Lili Lopez will talk with MSCC about collaborating on disabilities services
  • John Mudd will connect Lili to NYDIS to support undocumented people

ACTION LIST

  • John Mudd will connect Sarah Knispel with a meeting coming up about this problem regarding shelter residents’ rights
  • Email Susan Stetzer at sstetzer@cb.nyc.gov, with information regarding shelters and issues 
  • Maribel Ruiz will provide the committee with access to the google docs for people to load research items and to review the work of the committee (Medicare v Managed Care)
  • John Mudd will reach out to Dan Pichinson to seek support for Charisma White regarding Medicare support
  • Rue Parkin will provide further information about the information discussed today regarding Medicare to the committee at a future time. Contacts and calendar links provided above
  • John Mudd will speak with Serafina Payne, LMSW, Community Affairs Coordinator, Manhattan Outreach Consortium, and will add this topic to the next meeting’s agenda. John will also send out emails seeking support for this issue regarding the couple Charisma White is supporting
  • Serafina Payne asked John and Charisma to send further details (names, location and description of problems). Serafina will contact her partners in Brooklyn and provide outreach services to support the couple
  • Lili Lopez will provide MSCC with the new office address when it becomes available
  • John Mudd will email Rue with the data MSCC has for its street sheets

PROGRAM AND EVENT UPDATES

Rue Parkin, HelpNYC

  • The 2021 Free Holiday Meals & More listings campaign is now accepting events to be listed on the helpNYC.info Resource Navigator. The annual Free Holiday Meals & More listings campaign connects New Yorkers in need to events in the community that can help them with food, clothing, toys, social connections, and more during the holiday season. Events listed are associated with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year’s, and secular/general holiday events, as well
  • Registration takes less than 5 minutes! Listing with helpNYC is completely free. To learn more about registering your holiday event with helpNYC, please visit www.helpNYC.info/holiday/register. The listings are updated on an ongoing basis, as events are registered until January 1, 2021.
  • If you have any questions please send Rue an email at rue@helpNYC.co, or call 929.220.3027.
  • HelpNYC has recently received a grant to revitalize the street sheets systems in NYC. HelpNYC has the data on most of the programs in the City on its website and will transfer these to a PDF street sheet format and explore the ability to drop ship street sheets to organizations that do not have funding to produce street sheets
  • There will be a brainstorming session on how to implement the street sheets. Contact rue@helpNYC.co, or call 929.220.3027 if you are interested in the meeting to be held early 2022

John Mudd referred to the MSCC Street Sheets and the need to add to the categories. Updates are done regularly.

  • John will email Rue with the data MSCC has for its street sheets

OTHER CONCERNS

Thuy Pham referred to thePenn Station Expansion. CB4 has been having presentations about the empire Station expansion and Vornado’s development plans and highlighted the the forthcoming Empire Station Complex hearing on December 8th, 2021 at 5PM.

John Mudd elaborating on the importance for the community to speak during the hearing: Vornado wants to build a river to river business district at a time when commercial use is down. The over development will be devastation to our communities, city, and people who live within the. The development will acerbate the housing and homeless crisis. 

The coalition against the Empire Station Complex’s plan has presented several forums showing the havoc if the plan sees the light of day. The forums also present alternative plans that are more public friendly. To view The Empire Station Coalition’s 6 Forums on the Alternative to the Empire Station’s Development 

Marni Halasa: There is an enormous amount of hyper gentrification going on. This is the issue of our time. developers are involving themselves with public housing—NYCHA, they are over developing high end rentals and under developing affordable housing, and  this will have people priced out of their homes, causing more homeless on the streets. We need more help from our officials. With regards to NYCHA: Section 9 (deeply affordable apartments) rental program is under threat; The rental program is being converted to Section 8.

Garment district Alliance (GDA) Jerry Cupp: Generally supportive of the ESC project; they’ve continually asked for the ESC plan to include accommodations for housing and homeless services. Midtown has the highest rate of crime in NYC, and is tourist heavy location.

John Mudd: Existential crisis, turning us into a renter society.

Rue Parkin: Redevelopment leaves people out of society. Redevelopment must include everyone.

NEXT Meeting Homeless and Housing Meeting: 9:30 am Tuesday, January 4, 2021 

The MSCC Homeless and Housing Meeting is at 9.30 am on the 1st Tuesday of every month (except January). 

Contact hello@midtownsouthcc.org for more information and your Zoom invitations.

ADDENDUM A: COURT BLOCKS MEDICARE SWITCH FOR RETIRED NYC WORKERS

12/1/21, 4:22 pm Court Blocks Controversial Medicare Switch for Retired NYC Workers – THE CITY https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/10/21/22739784/court-blocks-controversial-medicare-switch-for-retired-nyc-workers

A state Supreme Court judge Thursday indefinitely halted a proposed cost cutting change in city government retirees’ health care after former municipal workers filed suit seeking to stop the move. In a four-page order, Judge Lyle Frank called the rollout of the switch “irrational, and thus arbitrary and capricious” — and ordered the City to maintain the retirees’ current health care plans. The suit was filed by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, a group formed in opposition to the move to a privately administered Medicare Advantage plan. Steve Cohen, the lawyer representing the retiree organization, celebrated the injunction. “This is terrific for retirees,” he told New York Focus and THE CITY. “Thank goodness they’re not being rushed and being forced into an irrational decision.” Frank tentatively prohibited the City and the new insurer — a partnership between Emblem Health and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield known as the Retiree Health Alliance — from enforcing a planned October 31 deadline for retirees to opt out of the plan. The judge’s order does not, however, scrap the plan: Frank wrote that he “does not intend to disturb” the City’s choice to team with the Alliance. The planned switch is the result of a 2014 agreement between de Blasio and the Municipal Labor Committee, a group of unions that represent city employees and retirees. The unions committed to $1.3 billion in annual health care savings in exchange for pay raises for members. The switch to the Alliance will move retirees from their current arrangement of traditional government-administered Medicare plus a supplemental insurance program into a privately run system known as Medicare Advantage. City officials contend moving retirees’ health care to Medicare Advantage plans managed by private insurers will save over $600 million annually, while preserving equally good care. But many retirees are skeptical of that promise of equally good care, noting that for the first time, for example, retired city workers will have to obtain prior authorization from their insurer for a host of procedures and equipment, instead of getting coverage automatically. ‘I Could Be Bankrupt’ Some retirees worry that could leave them on the hook for huge sums, if the Alliance decides that their treatments aren’t covered. “I could be bankrupt from the other plan if they don’t take everything,” retired NYCHA employee Lainie Kitt told New York Focus and THE CITY earlier this week. Retirees who elect to keep the existing supplemental care program must pay $191 per adult covered. A separate suit filed by insurance giant Aetna, claiming that the process of awarding the contract to the Alliance violated city procurement law and that the Alliance misrepresented its qualifications during the bidding process was rejected. In response to the Organization of Public Service Retirees’ suit, the City had argued that it had done sufficient work to publicize the plan, and that the Halloween deadline should remain in place. A spokesperson for the New York City Law Department expressed disappointment with Frank’s injunction. “While we are gratified that the court upheld the contract award which is an essential step towards implementing the program, we are disappointed that the court stayed its implementation. We are reviewing the decision and the City’s options for moving forward. We are confident that the program will ultimately be implemented in the best interest of City retirees,” the spokesperson said. Doctor Confusion The injunction doesn’t scrap the plan entirely, Frank emphasized, but rather delays it until more public information is available surrounding the plan. The judge noted that which doctors will accept the plan is still unknown. In an online survey conducted by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, 317 out of 880 respondents said that at least some of their health care providers were not aware of the Alliance’s plan and couldn’t say whether they would accept it. Writing that “There is little clarity as to which health care providers will be accepting this new Medicare Advantage Plan,” Frank found that retirees are at risk of suffering irreparable harm if forced to decide whether to remain in the plan on the basis of incomplete information. Some retirees hope that the injunction will give them time to continue mobilizing against the switch. “It’s an opportunity to inform people and build the opposition,” said Len Rodberg, a retired CUNY professor who opposes the change. Frank ordered the City to submit a plan for “curing the deficiencies” his ruling highlighted. The Department of Law spokesperson said that discussions on when and how the City will submit such a plan are ongoing. A spokesperson for the Alliance did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the meantime, Cohen said that his group will “continue looking and monitoring what’s going on, and be ready to respond if anybody appeals.” 

ADDENDUM B: Homelessness in New York and How We Can Solve It 

The Midtown South Community Council Forum held 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Thursday, November 18, 2021

The following report lists the actions, next steps and provides a glimpse of the Forum’s Chatbox.

Midtown South Community Council (MSCC) and its partners invited New Yorkers to “The Current State of Homelessness In New York and How We Can Solve It” Forum at 6:00 pm Thursday, November 18, 2021. 

The expert panel included Erin Kelly, RxHome; Lauren Curatolo, Midtown Community Court; Prof. Terrence Coffie, New York University; Marquis Jenkins, Residents to Preserve Public Housing (RPPH). Gale Brewer, City Council, and Maya Contreras, running for NY’s 12th Congressional District in 2022, were guests to comment on solving the crisis. 

Ted Houghton, Gateway Housing, moderated the Forum. 

Gale Brewer is currently Manhattan Borough President and City council member-elect for District 6. She is term-limited at MBP.

  • Address MIH issues
  • NYPD discussion around mental health needs a holistic approach
  • Midtown Community Court needs to be opened
  • Court’s programs need to used
  • Agencies need to work together
  • People on the ground are doing amazing work and need support

Panel Members 

Erin Kelly, Director of Health Policy & Partnerships, RxHome 

  • Shifting funding from programs to housing programs is important but may take time
  • Research and data are important on the basics of homelessness in NYC (numbers, impact on children, impact on health, racial inequities, housing affordability) and the high-level solutions (housing affordability, focusing on permanent housing)

Terrance L. Coffie Adjunct Lecturer, New York University, Social Work and Criminal Justice Reform 

  • Interagency Collaboration to effect change, improve services and outcomes. 
  • Funding needs to stipulate how collaboration is to occur/interagency dept to oversee this
  • Investment in treatment for people caught up in the prison population
  • Human rights challenges
  • The cost of housing people in prison is astronomical and more than what is needed for a comprehensive wrap-around service. Funding is misused!!! It needs to be reallocated. 
  • (A public bank would solve a lot of problems: Sharon says)
  • We see people as homeless, as substance abusers, etc. If we continue to see people through these lenses, we continue to make policy with these lenses

Lauren Curatolo Project Director Midtown Community Court

  • Silo break down bring strengths such as the Community First Program. More of this is needed, and an essential outcome of silo breakdown is keeping people out of the criminal justice system
  • More felony work is needed along the lines of the misdemeanor work, so default to prison is not the option, e.g., gun diversion program, i.e., invest in prevention, talk about why young people have guns – it’s about safety, so we need to talk about this, violence disruption needed

Marquis Jenkins Founder and CEO at JENCOA LLC 

  • Public housing is the solution; need to fund housing
  • A need to advocate to STOP the BluePrint Proposal for Change and Public Housing Preservation Trust converting from section 9 to section 8 using tenant protection vouchers. 
  • Advocate for funding for public housing, services, and resident authority
  • Support resident management initiatives at their development. Residents pay 30% of their income in rent and need to have a role in solutions and management
  • Housing is a human right; discrimination needs to be addressed
  • Access to all opportunities for all, including immigrants. 
  • Utilizing all our tools will include private market, but not entirely to be left to the private market 

Moderator

Ted Houghton, President, Gateway Housing 

  • Some projects could be put on hold
  • To divert people from criminal justice and expensive systems, hook them with primary care, mental health, etc
  • The trick is to work out which projects don’t support the economy

Maya Contreras, running for NY’s 12th Congressional District in 2022, is a lifelong Housing Rights advocate and a Voting Rights advocate (Maya’s campaign: ELECTMAYA.com)

  • We need more people in elected office with the lived experience of being unhoused. No one knows the system better than those of us that have had to navigate it. We are the ones the know what works and what doesn’t
  • Correct or eradicate policies that keep people in the cycles of poverty. For example, we could modernize SSI; this would help pull members of the disability community out of homelessness. We could also create a Universal Basic Income for Foster Children as they experience poverty and homelessness at a high rate
  • We need a “Cultural shift” or a narrative “reset” on policies that would aid public health but are shunned due to stigma. For example, if we craft policy that decriminalizes and destigmatizes drug users and sex workers, we are moving dollars away from punitive measures (billions a year) and investing in harm reduction and Public health
  • Transparency – we need a clear place where we know where each Federal, State, and Local dollar is going to housing and housing services. It’s clear these dollars have not always gone where they were meant to, and because of that – we are seeing move financial investments but with smaller returns

A Glimpse of the Forum’s Chatbox:

18:22:18 From Margaret McInroe to Everyone:

Thanks so much for this Forum. Since so many of these issues along with the ongoing threat to life quality, culture, wellness in our Midtown West community, are direct results of irresponsible development by Vornado, Related and SL Green, and other developers, what is being done to hold them accountable for their acts of destruction and harm to humanity?

18:53:24 From Joycelyn Taylor to Everyone:

So basically, RAD and/or Blueprint would put more people in a position to be homeless possibly.

18:58:09 From Sarah Knispel to Everyone:

Yes!! All power to NYCHA residents! Keep public housing public!

19:03:59 From Joycelyn Taylor to Everyone:

It is all about priorities.

19:10:32 From Joycelyn Taylor to Everyone:

This appears to be about people making money and not actually achieving permanent results.

19:11:27 From Joycelyn Taylor to Everyone:

You don’t have to pull funding. There are capital projects that can be put on hold, and we can use those funds to address this issue.

19:18:24 From Marni Halasa to Everyone:

Also, don’t be afraid to exert serious pressure on compromised elected officials. Marquis’s group Residents to Protect Public Housing called out Sen Brian Kavanagh for not being vs privatization, and exposed him so publicly, he put the Blueprint on pause.  Fight for NYCHA has filed numerous lawsuits to stop RAD. This is what you do.

19:22:38 From Peter Cook, NYS Council of Churches to Everyone:

If you could set up a system that would make it really possible for people coming out of prison to find permanent housing, would laws would you change and money you would provide to do it?

19:24:21 From Joycelyn Taylor to Everyone:

I think part of the issue is the residents feel some way about this because you are allowing my home to fall apart around me, and you are going to build a nice new shiny building next to me.  You have to fix public housing first.

19:26:11 From Joycelyn Taylor to Everyone:

We are about to spend $11B on new jails.  The money is there.

19:27:30 From Lauren Curatolo, Director Midtown Community Court to Everyone:

100%

19:28:43 From Maya Contreras to Everyone:

Elected officials forget the unhoused  are also constituents

19:28:48 From Marni Halasa to Everyone:

Also — let’s be honest, the process is not democratic, so tenants have a fair process with a real say in the decisions. Fulton and Elliott Chelsea did not want RAD and have petitions to prove it, but it is being pushed through. There should be severe consequences for elected officials and Community Board 4 members for participating in secret meeting to force Fulton and Elliott Chelsea tenants through RAD. Those secret meetings lasted for months in 2019 and were illegal under the state’s Open Meetings Law.

19:29:55 From Charisma White to John Mudd(Direct Message):

The problem is bigger than just building housing and handing out vouchers

19:31:09 From Carla Redix to Everyone:

Upward Mobility

19:33:44 From Lauren Curatolo, Director Midtown Community Court to Everyone:

And safe injection sites!!

19:35:44 From Pamela Bee to Everyone:

The prison industrial complex profits from drugs being illegal (and deadly.)  Remove profit motive from dealers and give medical care (drugs) to drug users, so they don’t risk death daily.

19:36:24 From Margaret McInroe to Everyone:

Excellent insights. Thank you. Another huge issue is many socially active people having been displaced to other Burroughs and cities due to high rents and unethical development. 

There are many great services in NYC, and when you contact 311, they respond promptly. 

Concerned community members are outnumbered by unconcerned and unethical businesses that are motivated by greed.

19:37:35 From Peter Cook, NYS Council of Churches to Everyone:

Homelessness is a policy choice

Homelessness in New York and How We Can SolveReport prepared by Sharon Jasprizza, November 2021.