The Mayor has revamped how agencies coordinate homeless outreach and prevention, while more shelter inspections are helping to improve facility conditions…students and parents are giving the Mayor’s expanded after-school programs high marks…the City is combating anti-Semitism, reuniting families with missing loved ones, and moving ahead to protect the future of East New York…Gracie Mansion and the First Lady have started a book club…new ThriveNYC
ads are helping to jumpstart a conversation on mental health…and another dozen hospitals are getting involved in the City’s maternal depression screening effort.
Homeless Services Revamp – The Mayor has released a comprehensive plan to ensure homeless services are delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible with a focus on both preventing vulnerable New Yorkers from becoming homeless and transitioning individuals and families in shelter into permanent housing. The plan is the result of the 90-day review of homeless services ordered by the Mayor. It builds on the many reforms that were announced during the review period, including full implementation of the HOME-STAT street homeless outreach program and efforts to improve conditions and safety in shelters. The City will also implement an integrated management structure with both the Human Resources Administration and the Department of Homeless Services reporting to a single Commissioner of Social Services, current DSS/HRA Commissioner Steven Banks.
Shelter Inspections Increase, Violations Decrease – The Mayor has announced that the Shelter Repair Squad and shelter providers have cut outstanding building code violations at non-cluster shelters by 44% since the City’s inspection push in January.
After-School Program Grades – Mayor de Blasio and Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong have released the findings of the Year One Evaluation of SONYC (School’s Out New York City), part of the City’s expanded middle school afterschool initiative. The study shows the Mayor’s historic $145 million 2014 investment worked to triple SONYC enrollment and dramatically increase education and recreation opportunities for New York City sixth through eighth graders. Ninety-eight percent of parents surveyed reported their sons and daughters like coming to the program, and nearly all of the families surveyed said they would recommend SONYC to others.
New York City Missing Persons Day – The Office of Chief Medical Examiner hosted the second New York City Missing Persons Day, aimed at connecting families with resources to help find and identify their missing loved ones. Dozens of families received scientific, investigative, and emotional support services during a now annual event credited with helping to identify seven missing persons throughout the New York metro area since its launch in November 2014.
Gracie Mansion Book Club – The Gracie Mansion Conservancy has launched the Gracie Book Club, a collaborative effort between First Lady Chirlane McCray and renowned New York City authors to foster conversation on a curated selection of literary works. First Lady McCray and three Gracie Book Club moderators – authors James Hannaham, Jacqueline Woodson and A.M. Homes – will select six books to read and discuss with fellow New Yorkers over the next year. The theme of this season of the Gracie Book Club is “Envisioning Distant Neighbors,” which aims to open dialogue on New York City’s diversity and rich immigrant community.
ThriveNYC Ad Campaign – First Lady Chirlane McCray announced the launch of “Today I Thrive,” a comprehensive ThriveNYC campaign to raise awareness among New Yorkers about the prevalence and treatment of mental health issues. The ads aim to open the conversation about a problem affecting one in five New Yorkers. Promoting the notion that mental health issues do not define those who suffer from them, and inviting New Yorkers to talk openly about mental health issues, the campaign seeks to destigmatize mental health issues by reframing the way people think and talk about them.
More Hospitals Screening for Maternal Depression – More women will now have better access to maternal depression screenings as 12 hospitals are joining ThriveNYC’s initiative to screen and treat all pregnant women and new mothers for depression. Joining Maimonides Medical Center and 11 NYC Health + Hospitals locations announced in November are Flushing Hospital Medical Center; Northwell – Forest Hills Hospital; Northwell Long Island Jewish; Northwell Zucker Hillside Hospital; NYU Langone Medical Center; Jamaica Hospital Medical Center; Montefiore Medical Center; The Mount Sinai Hospital; Mount Sinai Beth Israel Petrie; Mount Sinai West, formerly Mt. Sinai Roosevelt; New York Methodist Hospital; and St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.