Inspired, strengthened and sustained by faith, the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing is committed to confronting the unconscionable and unacceptable reality of homelessness in New York City. Recognizing society's shared responsibility and working as partners with those who have experienced homelessness, the Assembly will mobilize communities of faith to empower all people, to advocate public policies to eliminate homelessness, and strive for the transformation of society.


National Council of Elders to Release Greensboro Declaration in Three U.S. Cities

  • Disappointed by the Platforms & Politics of Both Parties, Calls for Systemic Change

    On Wednesday, September 12, the newly formed National Council of Elders (NCOE) will release the Greensboro Declaration, the first statement of the organization since its founding a month ago. The NCOE founding conference was held in Greensboro, NC, site of the historic Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins, which represented a major advance in th
    e civil rights struggle. 

    The Declaration will be presented at significant historic sites of struggle and freedom in Washington, DC, Detroit, MI; and New York. Press conferences will be held at 11:00 a.m. in the areas’ respective time zones. The NCOE sees its mission as passing down both its wisdom and missteps to coming generations, especially to young people. 

    Dr. James A. Forbes ,Jr. , President, Healing the Nations Foundation
    Imam Al Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, Mosque of the Islamic Brotherhood
    Shirley M. Sherrod, Former Georgia State Director of Rural Development, U.S. DepartmenofAgriculture 
    Father Daniel Berrigan- Peace Maker
    Rev. Donna Schapper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church
    Father Paul Mayer, Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change (IMAC)

DHS Head Defends Agency Amid Growing Number Of City Homeless

By: Bobby Cuzan NY1

With the city’s homeless population at record levels and shelters stretched to the limit, city Homeless Commissioner Seth Diamond is defending his agency’s record.

 

It comes amid recent statistics that paint a grim picture of homelessness in the city.

Not only is the number of homeless New Yorkers at a record high and growing, but they are staying in city shelters longer.

The average stay for a homeless family with children is now close to a year, up sharply over last year.

The Current Homelessness Situation, August 2012

For the first time in three decades, New York City does not have a rental assistance subsidy program to help the homeless pave a path to permanent housing. The termination of the Advantage Subsidy Program put more than 8,000 formerly homeless tenants at imminent risk of returning to shelters. Seth Diamond, the Homeless Services Commissioner tells NY1 that "Most families, the overwhelming number who were on Advantage, will not come back into the shelter system."  But here are where the numbers stand: 

  • There are now a record 44,000 people in homeless shelters. 
  • This week, 18,200 children will be spending their nights in shelters. 
  • There have been 9 more homeless shelters opened in the last 2 months, with officials rushing to open more without any long term plan or the much needed social services to accompany these shelters.
  • According to the Coalition for the Homeless, more than 3,100 former Advantage families have returned to shelters and more than 5,000 have applied to be placed into shelters.

What You Can Do:

Sign our Petition.

FEPS applications processing centers overwhelmed by families applying

In the aftermath of the termination of the Advantage Rent Subsidy Program, families have resorted the only assistance available to the working poor who cannot pay their rent: FEPS. According to Cindy Rodriguez's recent WNYC Article, the Family Eviction Prevention Supplement, which only provides rent assistance to family who have eviction hearings in progress, has been overwhelmed with new applications while the organizations processing these applications are facing major budget cuts:

State budget cuts are also impacting the non-profits hired to process FEPS applications. Carolyn McLaughlin, director of Bronxworks, said a 45 percent cut in funding in October forced her to lay off 10 people.  “Staff has been working really, really hard but they just can’t handle the volume of people that need this type of help,” McLaughlin said.

The result of this is that eviction hearings these families face are moving forward faster than their FEPS applications are being processed, which makes their evictions seem "imminent". In light of this development, "Legal Aid is suing the city and state arguing that government agencies are effectively blocking people from receiving help by not processing applications fast enough."

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