Gov. Hochul Connects 330 Homeless to Housing – Reality Or Fiction?

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“Hochul’s Housing Triumph: A Beacon of Hope or Unfounded Rumor?”

Two years ago, facing growing concerns about crime, Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams took a bold stand to confront mental illness and subway homelessness. They allocated state funds to bolster the efforts of more cops and mental health workers, specifically designed to assist those grappling with mental health issues.

Key Developments:

  1. Subway Safety Teams Make a Difference: Specialized teams, known as “Safe Operations Support,” have successfully connected 330 formerly homeless individuals to permanent housing.
  2. Expansion for Greater Impact: Responding to the positive outcomes, the current 14 “Safe Operations Support” teams in New York City will be expanded to 21, reaching transit areas beyond the city limits.
  3. Regulations for Enhanced Care: State regulations are undergoing review, with a focus on requiring hospitals to establish aftercare support plans for patients, particularly those dealing with mental health challenges.

Governor Hochul, during an update on Wednesday, expressed pride in the program’s success. She highlighted that the teams not only provided mental health services but also secured permanent housing for more than 330 previously chronically homeless individuals.

Estimates from Hochul’s office suggest that approximately 3,000 struggling New Yorkers regularly seek shelter in the subways. The “subway safety” mental health teams have emerged as crucial elements, connecting people not just with psychiatric assistance but also with homes.

Alto Watts, who was once homeless, credited the subway safety teams for being instrumental in finding him a home. Sharing his experience, he emphasized the support and hope he gained through these teams and dedicated caseworkers.

Gov. Hochul's Housing Triumph: 330 Lives Rescued from Homelessness – A Groundbreaking Success Story Or Just a Hoax?

The Origin and Wider Impact:

The subway safety program, born in response to the tragic death of Michelle Go, has become a cornerstone of Governor Hochul’s initiatives addressing mental health. She underscored the importance of wraparound services, emphasizing the need for ongoing support beyond simply placing individuals in homes.

However, recent NYPD statistics unveiled a 22% increase in subway crime over the past year. Mayor Adams expressed the desire to increase the number of police officers but highlighted the need for additional state funding.

Governor Hochul, however, disclosed that Mayor Adams had not formally requested extra funds during their Albany meeting. She reiterated her concern for subway safety and pledged collaborative efforts with the mayor to address this pressing issue.

Looking ahead, Governor Hochul announced plans to deploy seven more teams to other transit lines, such as the Metro-North and Long Island Railroad. This announcement indicates a commitment to expanding efforts beyond the subway, addressing homelessness on a broader scale.

Governor Hochul’s initiative has showcased significant success, providing not only homes but also essential mental health services to those in need. Personal narratives, like Alto Watts’, underscore the positive impact, while expansion plans demonstrate a commitment to addressing homelessness comprehensively and sustaining positive change.

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