.

David N. Dtnltlnt
Mayot·.,
Andrew M. (uodrd
Chairman .

The Way Home
A New Direction in Social Policy

February 1992

COMMISSION ON THE HOMELESS
David N. Dinkins, Mayor
The City of New York
Andrew M. Cuomo, Chairman
President, H.E.L.P.

Commissioners
Mary Jo Bane
Malcolm Weiner Professor of Social Policy
Harvard University John F. Kennecfy /
School of Government

Verona Middleton-Jeter
Director
Henry Street Settlement Urban Family Center

Alexander Cooper, F.A.I.A.
Partner
Cooper Robertson & Partners

Ralph Nunez
President and CEO
Homes For the Homeless

Michael Dowling
Director of Health, Education and Human Services
Office of the Governor

Larry S. Rhodes
Intake Counselor
Ready; Willing and Able

Ronald Gault
Managing Director
The First Boston Corporation

Jack Rudin
Chairman
Rudin Management Company, Inc.

Dr. Jerome Goldsmith
Senior Consultant
New York State Department of Health

Barbara Sabol
Commissioner
Human Resources Administration

Victor A. Kovner
Partner
Lankenau Kovner & Bickford

Jerry I. Speyer
President
Tishman Speyer Properties

James Krauskopf
Dean of the Graduate School of Management and
Urban Policy, New School for Social Research

Bishop Joseph Sullivan
Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn and Executive VP
Catholic Charities

Victor Marrero
Partner
Brown & Wood

Jane Velez
President
Project Return Foundation, Inc.

George McDonald
President
The Doe Fund, Inc.
Felice Michetti
Commissioner
Department of Housing, Preservation and
Development

-~

Nancy Wackstein
Executive Director
Lenox Hill Neighborhood Association
Frank G. Zarb
Chairman, President and CEO
Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. , Inc.
John Zuccotti
President and CEO
Olympia and York Companies (USA)

Special Counsel : Vincent P. Ravaschiere

Sub-Committees of the Commission
Families

Mary Jo Bane
Andrew Cuomo
Michael Dowling
Jerome Goldsmith
Victor Kovner
James Krauskopf
Felice Michetti

....

Verona Middleton-Jeter
Ralph Nunez
Barbara Sabol
Bishop Joseph Sullivan
Jane Velez
Nancy Wackstein

/

Single Adults

Andrew Cuomo
Michael Dowling
Jerome Goldsmith
George McDonald

Felice Michetti
Larry Rhodes
Barbara Sabol.
·.i

Permanent Housing/Finance

Alexander Cooper
Andrew Cuomo
Ronald Gault
George McDonald
Felice Michetti
Ralph Nunez

Jack Rudin
Barbara Sabol
Jerry Speyer
Frank Zarb
John Zuccotti

Legal

Andrew Cuomo
Victor Kovner
Victor Marrero

Barbara Sabol
John Zuccotti

Drafting*

Andrew Cuomo
Victor Kovner

George McDonald

*With special assistance from Nancy Batterman, James Capoziello
Marsha Martin and William Shapiro.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
'

'

The Commission would like to thank the following individuals and
organizations whose efforts made this report possible:
Marc Altheim
Ellen Baer
Nancy Batterman
Laurence S. Belinsky
Fred Bucher
Lisa Poullard-Burton
Jim Capoziello
Deborah Conrad
Patrick Eckman
George Falco
Kim Hopper

Marsha Martin
Jean Norton
Sczerina Perot
Tasha Rogers
Eric Roth
William Shapiro
William Spiller
Nancy Travers
Brookdale Hospital Medical Center
City University of New York
Xerox Corporation

Special Thanks: First Deputy Mayor Norman Steisel

The Commission also would like to extend its thanks to the foliowing
individuals whose testimony guided the deliberations of the
Commission :

J . Anderson, East 77th Street Block Association
Steven Banks, Esq., Coordinating
Homeless Family Rights Project /

Attorney,

Legal Aid

Society's

David Beseda, Nazareth Homes
Peter Brest, Associate Commissioner, Office of Shelter and Supportive
Housing Programs, New York State Department of Social Services
Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director, Coalition for the Homeless
·i'
John T. Bulger, Stuyvesant High School

Andrew Bush, Private Citizen
Dr. Jerome Carrol, Project Return Foundation, Inc.
George Carter, ACT-UP
Guido Ciancotta, Concerned Citizens of Withers Street
Theresa Ciancotta, Concerned Citizens of Withers Street
David Condliffe, Director, Mayor's Office of Drug Abuse Policy
Keith Crandell, Manhattan Community Board #2
Norma Crespo, Positives Anonymous
Cynthia Dames, Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies
Tony Degenova, Columbia University Community Services
Dr. Anna Lou Dehavenon, Action Research Project

Jack Doyle, Administrator of Homeless Services, American Red Cross
Eddie Fennel, Ready, Willing and Able
Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer
Antonio Ferriera, Project Return Foundation, Inc.
Deputy Mayor Barbara Fife
Peter Fine, Educational Alliance
City Councilmember Kenneth K. Fisher
Jean Friedlander, Private Citizen
Mary McCabe Gandall, Manhattan Mentql Health Council
IJ

Ed Geffner, Manhattan· Bowery Corp.
Marilyn Geyer, NoHo Neighborhood Association
Martin Goldberg, Warbasse Co-op
Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden
Michael Goodwin, Recover Hotline
John Greenbaum, Bond Street Drop-In Center, Catholic, Charities
Claire Haaga, Housing Services, Inc.
Michael Halley, Co-Chairman, Fellows Program, Municipal Arts Society
Vera Hasner, Alliance for the Mentally Ill of New York State
Homeless persons testifying anonymously

Dr. Kim Hopper, Research . Scientist, Nathan Kline Institute for
Psychiatric Research and President of the National Coalition for the
Homeless
City Councilmember Samuel Horowitz
Bishop Jeffries, Housing Works
Laura Jervis, Valley Lodge
Dr. Billy Jones, M.D., Commissioner, New York City Department of
Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services
Harriett Karr-McDonald, The Doe Fund, Inc.
William Klamman, Project Hospitality
Beverly Kolber, private resident
Laura Konigsberg, Homeless Resource Center
Jamie Leo, Private Citizen
Sandra Lester, Private Citizen
Frances Levenson, Coalition for Homeless Women, Women's City Club
Dr. Frank Lipton, Deputy Commissioner and Medical Director, New
York City Human Resources Administration
Lorence A. Long, Private Citizen
Elizabeth Lynch, Housing Associate
Alliance for Homeless Families

Coordinator

for

Emergency

Rochelle Malamed, Joint Council of Neighborhood Associations
Dan Margulies, Community Housing Improvement Program
Emily Marks, United Neighborhood Houses

Jean McPartland, Private Citizen
Christopher Meade, Legal Action Center for the Homeless
Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger
Jonathan Meyer, Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter
Ron Millican, Community Board #7
Rev. Timothy Mitchell, Ebenezer Baptist Church
Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari
United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Carlos Pagan, El Regresso
City Councilmember Adam C. Powell
Reginald Pulliam, Project Return Foundation, Inc.
Ruth Rawback, Manhattan Mental Health Council
Dr. Irwin Redlener, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein
College of Medicine - Montefiore Medical Center
Ray Richardson, President, Home Grown, Inc.
Naomi Richmond, Community Board # 12
Vernon Richmond, Housing Works
Paulette Rivers, Miracle Makers
Sherry Rodena, All-Craft Self Help Center
Joseph Rose, Executive Director,
Council

Citizens Housing and Planning

Julio Sabater, Manhattan Community Board #11

I

Father Donald Sakano, Archdiocese, Catholic Charities
Michael Shor, Private Citizen
Virginia Shubert, Housing Works
Queens Borough President Claire Shulman
Norman Siegel, Esq., Executive Director, New York Civil Liberties
Union
Michale Slade, Chairperson, Shelter Residents Program Development
Committee
Mr. Slater, Private Citizen
Peter Smith, Chair, City Council Legislative Advisory Commission on
the Homeless and President, Partnership for the Homeless
Henry Stern, President, Citizen's Union
Elizabeth Sturz, Argus Community, Inc.
Commissioner Richarq Surles, New York State Office of Mental Health
Dr. Sam Tsemberis, Director of New York City Project HELP
AI kay Waller, Ready, Willing and Able
Willie Washington, Manhattan Bowery Corp.
City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone
Betty Williams, Housing Works
Katina Zachmanoglou, Alliance for the Mentally Ill
Aurora Zepeda, Homes for the Homeless

CONTENTS
PREFACE........... ................................ .. .................. ... ........ ........ 1
CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION........... ... .. ....... ................... ..... .. 3
THE PROBLEM ..... .............. .. ....... ..... .. ... ......... ....... ............ 3
GOALS FOR POLICY REFORM ................................ ............. 11
POLICY REFORM RECOMMENDATIONS ............................... 13
CHAPTER TWO - A BLUEPRINT FOR HOMELESS SINGLE ADULTS ... 1 9
BACKGROUND ............. .. ........... ...... .. ... .......................... ... 19
The Growing Reliance on the Not-for-Profit Sector ......... 19
Homeless Single Adults as a Forgotten Population ..... .... 21
Current System ..................................... ........... ... ...... 29
The Five Year Plan ... .... .. .. ........ .. .............. ..... .... ..... ... . 29
PROPOSED REFORM ....... .. ... ....... .. ... ..... .. ....... ...... .. .. ....... ... 31
Capability of the Not-for-Profit Sector .... .. ... ... .............. 34
Phase I - Reception ...... ... ............................... ............ 37
Phase II - Transitional. .... .... ... ......................... ....... .. ... 39
Persons with Mental Illness ......................... .... ... 39
Substance Abusers ............. ................. ............. 41
The Unemployed and Undereducated ...... ....... ...... 46
Persons with HIV/AIDS ....... .. .................. .... ...... . 54
Homeless People Residing in Public Spaces .......... 57
Phase Ill - Permanent Housing .. .. .. ............................... 63
CHAPTER THREE- A BLUEPRINT FOR HOMELESS FAMILIES ... ..... .. 65
BACKGROUND ....... .. .. ... .... ................ .... ....... ......... ............ 65
The Current System ................. ... ....... ... ...... ...... ... ...... 72
PROPOSED REFORM ....... .. ............... ................................ .. 76
Phase I - Reception .... ................ ................. : ...... ... ..... 80
Phase II - Transitional ................ ..... ...................... ...... 84
Phase Ill - Permanent Housing ..................................... 86
CHAPTER FOUR - PERMANENT HOUSING ...... ... ........................... 87
RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ....................................... 90
PRIVATE SECTOR PROPOSAL. ....... .. ... ... .. ............... ... ....... .. 91
CREATIVE GOVERNMENT ......... ............. ........................ .... 93

CHAPTER FIVE - PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS . .. . . . . . . .. .. . . . . .. . . .. . . . . 95
IMPROVING ACCESS TO EXISTING HOUSING ...................... 96
HELPING PEOPLE TO MAINTAIN THEIR HOUSING........ ........ . 96
CHAPTER SIX - SITING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
CHAPTER SEVEN - COST ... ........................................................ 1 05
SINGLE ADULT SYSTEM .................................................... 1 06
FAMILY SYSTEM .............................................................. 11 0
CHAPTER EIGHT - ADMINISTRATION .......................................... 11 5

Glossary
Appendices
Appendix A
Appendix 8
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix F
Appendix G
Appendix H
Appendix I
Appendix J

Commission Hearings Witness List
Survey Methodology, Results and Questionnaire
Drug Testing Methodology and Results
Model Regulations for Transitional Residences
Memorandum From Commission Member Frank G. Zarb
Letter from Ronald J. Marino, Smith Barney
Opinion of Whitman & Ransom
Memorandum from Commission Member Jerry I. Speyer
Letter from Gregory Kaladjian, Acting Commissioner,
New York State Department of Social Services
Transition

Selected Bibliography

TABLES AND CHARTS
New York City Spending on Homelessness.... ........ ... ................. ....
Who Are the Homeless?. ........... ... .. ........ . .. ... ..... .. ......... .... ... ... ... . .

4
6

Reasons For Homelessness... ... .. .. . . . .... ........... .... ...... .. . . . . .. . ... . .. . . . . .

8

Breakdown of Single Adults in Shelters .............. ............... . ... ........
When Did You First Become Homeless? .... ... .. .......... ... ............ ......
Single Adult Employment History . . .... .. . . ... . .. ........ .. ... ....... .. . .. . . . . . . . .
Health Related Problems . . .. .. . . .. . . . . .... .. . . .. . ...... .. . .. ... .... ... . ... .. . . . . . . .. .
Singles System Flow Chart........ ....... ...... . ... ......... ... ..... .. ...... ... .. ...
Commission Drug Testing Results - Single Adults.... ... .... ........ ... .....
Percentages of Those Testing Positive for Specific Drug . . . . . ... . . . .. . . .
B.A.S.I.C .S. Sketch .... ........... .... ... ......... .......... ........ .. .... .. ... ........
Family Shelter Population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Family Experiences .. ... ....................... .........................................

20
23
25
27
36
42
44
51
66
67

,._ _ _ _ : __ : __ ""'-· · - T--.o.:-- 0 - - · .l.o.\,.,UIIIIIII;):>IUII VI U~ I C:>llll~ n C:> UIL:> -

'"7A

~--:1 : --

raiiiiiiC:> , . . . . , , , • , , , . . . . . . . . . . . , , •• , • , , . . .

IV

Percentages of Those Testing Positive for Specific Drugs............... 71
Families - Where They Stay in the Shelter System......... ....... ........ .. 74
Family System Flow Chart......... ... ............. .............................. ... . 79
HUD Budget Authority for Low Income Housing Programs........... .... 87
New York City Plan for Homeless Adults ................ .. .... ...... .. ... ...... 106
Summary of the Commission's Permanent Housing Plan
for Single Adults . ...... .... ......... .. ................................................ 1 08
Comparative Per Diem Costs of Transitional Facilities
per Homeless Family ...... ...... ... ..... ............................................. 11 0
Net Monthly Cost to New York City to Provide Housing
to Homeless Families ........ ... ... .... .......... ..... ... ............................ 112
Housing Now! Rental Assistance Program .... ... .. ............................ 113
Tier II Shelters Compared to Housing Now! Rental Assistance .......... 113
City-Developed Permanent Housing Units Compared to
Housing Now! Rental Assistance Program .. .......... .... .......... ... ...... 113

PREFACE
On September 12, 1991, Mayor David N. Dinkins, responding to the
growing crisis of homeless New Yorkers, appointed an independent
Commission on the Homeless. The Commission was directed to review, in
an advisory capacity, New York City's existing and proposed policies and
programs for addressing the problem of homelessness. The Commission's
mandate was to make specific recommendations for the future direction of
these efforts by formulating a blueprint for action.
The direction for progressive policy reform was set forth by Mayor
Dinkins, when he stated:
Since the release of the Five Year Plan and the beginning of the
Cuomo Commission hearings, the issue of homelessness has
been very much on everyone's mind. Of the many difficulties
that urban America must confront, few are more tragic and
discouraging than homeless ness . . . . I have a commitment to
fashion a shelter system that works better, a system that uses
smaller facilities with targeted social services, a system that
will really begin tq solve the problem of homelessness.
Mayor Dinkins was well aware of the challenge he had presented to
Commission members. His concern for, knowledge of, and actions on
behalf of the homeless pre-date his time as Mayor. He knew we would
have to wrestle with complex and troubling social issues, byzantine
procedures, and a bureaucracy that was 20 years in the making.
In the space of a few short months, we have interviewed experts,
held extensive public hearings (see Appendix A), reviewed the research
literature on homelessness, and conducted one of the most comprehensive
surveys of shelter residents undertaken in the nation. This substantial data
gathering effort informed the necessarily complex deliberations of the
members of the Commission about a problem that touches not only the
poorest of the poor, but all New Yorkers.

2

The Way Home

It is important to remember that homelessness is not unique to New
York, but is a problem nationwide.
According to a report issued in
December 1991 by the United States Conference of Mayors, the problem is
getting worse. Requests for emergency shelter increased in the cities
surveyed by an average of 1.3% in 1991 with none of the cities reporting a
decrease in requests for shelter by homeless families during that time.·

The United States Conference of Mayors , Raymond L. Flynn, Mayor of Boston, President, "A Status
Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities: 1991 (A 28-City Survey)".

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

THE PROBLEM
New York City has long been a national leader in providing assistance
to homeless families and individuals. Food programs, emergency shelter, a
growing array of transitional living programs and associated services, as
well as permanent housing targeted to homeless people, all reflect the
commitment of New Yorkers and their government to address this tragic
problem. In its expense budget alone, New York City now spends more
than $200 million a year on the problem of homelessness, while the State
contributes almost as much and the federal government contributes barely
half that amount. This does not even include the hundreds of millions of
capital dollars invested by the City and State with, alas, virtually no capital
contribution from the federal government.
Over the past decade, a
remarkable $2 billion in government funds have been directed toward the
problem of New Yorkers without homes. In addition, uncounted, but not
unnoticed, are the heroic efforts of volunteers and the substantial charitable
contributions of both businesses and average citizens. New ·York has not
looked the other way in the face of obvious human need.

The Way Home

4

N.Y.C. Spending on Homelessness

500 .

0
198,983.
1984.

198~986..

1987 988
1
1989

S ingles

19901991

19921993

Note: Amount includes funding received from N.Y.S. and the Federal Government

Source: N. Y .C. Office of Management and Budget

D~spite

the unprecedented level of resources and energy devoted to
addressing the problem of homelessness, not a single member of this
Commission, nor any New Yorker with whom we have spoken, would claim
a job well done.
People without homes continue to inhabit parks,
transportation facilities, streets and other public places.
Many City
residents, commuters and tourists are no longer comfortable using New
York's public spaces. At the same time, the flow of adults and children
into the City's emergency shelters continues unabated. On one night alone
in December 1991, more than 22,000 people were sheltered. What began
as an emergency safety net of last resort has now become a routine means
for aiding many of the needy. Meanwhile, communities increasingly resist
hosting shelters . Such clear indicators of the system's failure suggest that
the time has come for a major overhaul in the way government addresses
the problem of homelessness .

5

Introduction

Mayor David Dinkins inherited a $500 million, emergency housing
system that was neither functioning well as an emergency system nor
providing housing. It was commonplace for individuals and families to
languish in the so-called "emergency" system for years. At the same time,
the system did not provide housing, but instead offered primarily hotel
rooms and congregate arrangements, including those in armories.
For two years the Dinkins Administration tried from
the system. Significant efforts were made, programs
existing shelters and access to permanent housing
Ultimately, however, to his credit, the Mayor determined
was needed.

within to reform
were added to
was expanded.
that much more

Effective reform of the system requires fundamentally different
priorities, policies and programs. The very premise of the system itself
must be re-evaluated.
It was for the purpose of conducting such a
fundamental review on his behalf that the Mayor appointed this
Commission.

The Way Home

6

Social Trends and Homeless Individuals

Our work began with rigorous, systematic analysis. Despite the fact
that homelessness has been recognized as a problem for over a decade -and that it exists in cities and towns throughout the nation -- there is
remarkably little useful data on the characteristics of those without a place
to live. While there have been several studies of considerable quality, most
are dated and insufficient to support informed recommendations capable of
easing this crisis. Commission members have been struck by how much of
the discussion about homelessness may be ill-informed and misguided.
This dearth of current, reliable information about the causes of
homelessness is at least partially responsible for the superficiality of the
public debate on the issue, and has allowed discussion to be driven
primarily by ideology and politics rather than by facts.
Who are the Homeless?
Shelter
Population
7,545

Sin gle Meles
Single Females
Family Adults
Child ren

Total

Percent

1.477

31%
6%

6.568
8,569
24,159

36%
100%

27%

Shelter Population

35%

27%

: ::J Single Males

18 Single Females B

Family Adults

Ill

Children

Introduction

Some local officials, for example, have spread stereotypes and
misperceptions about those who are homeless, thus aggravating public
fears . Indeed, the position that one takes on the matter has become a
litmus test of political ideology, with dramatic rhetoric characterizing the
arguments from both ends of the spectrum .
Such rhetoric, hyperbole and politics have obfuscated the issue for
over a decade. The time has come to deal with facts and figures rather
than labels and platitudes .
With the extraordinary resources offered by the Harvard University
John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Center for Social Research of
the City University of New York, and the Brookdale Hospital Medical
Center, the Commission conducted one of the most extensive surveys of
homeless individuals and families undertaken in the nation. Appendix B
contains a description of the survey methodology and a detailed summary
of its findings.
The results were enlightening.
The Commission found that
"homeless ness" is frequently a symptom of some underlying problem, such
as lack of job skills or education, a substance abuse problem, or mental
illness. It results when one or more of these problems interacts with a
number of social and economic factors, including a shortage of affordable
housing .

7

The Way Home

8

Reasons For Homelessness
Reason
Money
Drugs/Alcohol
Personal
Housing
Other

Family Shelters
Non Tier II
Tier II

Family Total

46%
10%
14%
27%
12%

37%
9%
28%
22%
17%

Single Shelters
Men
Women

45%
10%
16%
26%
13%

45%
12%
23%
12%
13%

55%
3%
26%
16%
9%

Single Total

47%
11%
24%
12%
12%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%
Non Tier II

Money

Tier II

0

Family Total
Drugs/Alcohol

Personal

Men

ffil

Single Total

Women
Housing

Other

Source: Commission Survey (December 1991)

Society has always had its "haves" and "have-nots," but poverty in
the past was perceived to be a temporary condition, not a life sentence. In
New York and other large urban centers, this is no longer the case. By the
1990's, New York's manufacturing base, which had offered low-skill jobs
with decent benefits and livable wages, had all but disappeared. In its place
is a service economy that offers the unskilled low-wages and dead-end
positions . This change has had a devastating effect on young, often
minority, males and their families and is often cited as a contributing factor

Introduction

9

in the increase in single-parent households headed by women. Untreated
ailments, such as physical and mental health problems, AIDS and substance
abuse, and crime reinforce the separation between the rich and poor.
Contemporary poverty is overwhelming our educational, health, welfare and
other social institutions. Many needs go unmet.
Some large cities and states have responded to these developments
by cutting welfare benefits. The Commission believes that New York should
set an example for the nation in declaring that the problem is not that
welfare does too much, but that it does too little. The goal of welfare
should be to help the recipient attain economic and social independence.
In addition, the Commission found that the shelter population consists
of several distinguishable subgroups. While the common need of all who are
homeless is a permanent home, the requirements of some homeless
individuals go far beyond four walls. Homelessness is often a symptom of
one or more underlying problems for which the answer is not simply access
to housing, but also access to social and related services, including job
training and assistance, independent living programs, substance abuse
treatment, and mental health care.
Significant numbers of those without homes are people with physical,
mental health and/or substance abuse problems. They are ill-served by life
in a shelter. The consequence is tragic and expensive -- bouncing from
street to hospital to shelter and back again. Our psychiatric emergency
rooms and public hospitals are forced to try to meet comprehensive,
chronic needs with temporary solutions. Our streets are less hospitable to
residents and tourists alike, and the City's shelters are more difficult to
manage.
Perhaps the Commission's most significant finding is the existence of
a substantial subgroup within the shelter population. This group essentially
consists of poor young people who have grown up isolated from

10

The Way Home

mainstream social and economic life, and who now find themselves without
the basic social or economic skills necessary to survive independently.
· Dead end benefits, particularly when combined with the torpor of
barracks style shelter, or the degrading charity of a soup kitchen, often
encourage dependency.
The Commission also recognizes the legal structure upon which the
shelter system was constructed during the 1980's when the phenomenon
of the new homeless first confronted New Yorkers. This was at the very
same time that the federal government virtually abandoned its traditional
commitment to the construction of public housing. Following the consent
decree entered into in Callahan v . Carey (Sup . Ct., N.Y. County, Index No.
42582/79) in 1981, and since the First Department's decision in McCain v.
Koch, 117 A.D. 2d 198 (1986), government has, in effect, been obliged to
provide emergency shelter to all eligible persons with no viable housing
alternative .1 Furthermore, although the Commission recognizes the urgent
need for more affordable, permanent housing, there is no statutory or
constitutional entitlement to such housing. In view of the substantial fiscal
implications of any mandate to provide permanent housing, only the
legislative branch is equipped to balance the many competing interests that
would lead to the creation of an entitlement to permanent housing.
To summarize, the shelter system inherited by Mayor Dinkins flat out
does not work. Unsafe and expensive shelters that fail as a housina
resource and provide too few services and too little hope of future
independence make no sense in light of what we now know about
homelessness. The current system must be seen as the failure it is and be
restructured.

Although the issue of the right to shelter has never been finally adjudicated, the Callahan consent
decree does have the force of law. It should be noted, however, that the Callahan consent decree is limited
to New York City.

Introduction

11

GOALS FOR POLICY REFORM

The facts about homelessness, combined with the indisputable
evidence of policy failure, strongly suggest that the City's current strategy,
however well intended, must change. There must be a recognition that
radical, structural change of the system is necessary if this unprecedented
opportunity is to be used to create real solutions to the crisis of
homeless ness in New York City.
The
sweeping
and
structural
changes
detailed
in
the
recommendations of this Commission represent comprehensive solutions to
the problems of all the major subgroups of the homeless population.
Solutions to the crisis of homelessness are possible. The recommendations
of this Commission provide the blueprint for a plan that can be implemented
in a cost effective manner.
Consistent with this approach, this Commission has agreed on the
following goals for a new policy to address homelessness:
1.

All levels of government must be engaged in the expansion of
permanent housing options. While m·any of those who are homeless
require "transitional" services, all need affordable housing. Moreover,
transitional and permanent housing are mutually dependent; neither
can succeed without the other.2

2.

The emergency system must provide decent and humane shelter and
work to decrease dependency, not encourage it~
Intelligent
assessment and equitable resource allocation are essential. The goal
must be to remove families from congregate shelters and welfare
hotels and end the use of large, barracks style shelters for homeless
single adults.

2

While the City does not have a legal obligation to provide permanent housing, the Commission
recommends that permanent housing remain one of the City's highest discretionary priorities.

I

12

The Way Home

3.

The system for delivering services must be improved. The system
must be more responsive to changing needs and must be costeffective.

4.

The process for siting facilities needed for those who are homeless
must be workable and intelligent. Siting decisions should be made on
the basis of program needs and accommodate legitimate community
concerns.
The mechanism must address the concerns of the
community and enable programs to be sited in a timely fashion.

5.

It is totally unacceptable for persons to sleep in our public spaces.
The homeless people who reside in New York's parks, transportation
facilities and public thoroughfares must be reached in a humane and
effective way. The use of public spaces by homeless persons as
residences of last resort must end.

6.

The knowledge, experience and resources of the private sector must
be engaged to implement solutions to the problems of homelessness.

7.

The reforms recc>mmended by this Commission can and must be
The two
implemented without significantly increased spending.
traditional options -- more money or fewer services -- are
unacceptable.

These goals are attainable. We can successfully address the crisis of
homeless ness in our City. We can restore civic pride and help the people
so desperately in need. The policy reforms and entirely new structure this
Commission recommends represent a comprehensive solution.

Introduction

13

POLICY REFORM RECOMMENDATIONS ·

Government should not perpetuate shelters. The current
emergency shelter system is wasteful, ineffective and inefficient.
These shelters only exacerbate the problems of the persistently
poor and dependent.
Homeless persons need both housing and services . While the call
for only "housing, housing, housing" is misguided, so are the calls
for "services, services, services." The truth is that both are
necessary.
The system should provide an intelligent continuum of care. The
systems for both families and singles should feature new
Reception Centers as improved intake areas to replace Emergency
Assistance Units (EAU's) and Tier I facilities, followed by
assignment to transitional programs which will end dependency
and transition families and individuals to self-sufficiency and
independence.
The Commission recommends "Not-for-Profitization. "
The
transitional housing system should be turned over to private, notfor-profit operators whenever possible. A broad spectrum of notfor-profit and community based organizations should develop the
housing and provide the services. Privatization does not diminish
government's role, but instead enhances it by allowing government
to focus its efforts on setting policy.
Government should provide the performance-based incentives to
encourage innovation and initiative among not-for-profit program
operators. Results rather than process should be rewarded. In
this way the predominance of government-provided services would
be ended and competition among the not-for-profits could lead to
better pricing and services.

14

The Way Home

The Commission agrees with the Mayor's philosophy, espoused in
the Five Year Plan for Housing and Assisting Homeless [Single]
Adults (the Five Year Plan), that smaller, service-based facilities
are preferable. The Mayor has long advocated these progressive
positions and the testimony before the Commission found near
unanimous agreement on these goals. However, the Commission
believes that aspects of the Human Resources Administration's
(H.R.A.'s) Five Year Plan are flawed.
The Commission recommends a fundamental restructuring of the
approach to homeless single adults in the Five Year Plan whereby:
1)
The City should halt the development of new
shelters; instead, not-for-profits should develop . and
operate the necessary facilities and programs.
2)
A different contract mechanism should be utilized.
Under this alternative financing mechanism, designed by a
representative of Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., Inc.
(Smith Barney), revenue bonds secured by service
contracts would be issued for not-for-profits to finance the
development of facilities.
This financing arrangement,
coupled with the private sector cost efficiencies and
access to federal program funds, should result in
significant cost savings from the proposed $200 million
shelter capital construction budget. This plan could add
approximately 1 , 1 00 transitional beds without increasing
costs. In addition, a savings of $55.5 million could be
reallocated to make additional affordable Single Room
Occupancy (S.R.O.) and studio units.
3)
The process by which sites for facilities for homeless
single adults have been identified must be changed. Local
communities should not be dictated to but rather should

Introduction

15

have ' their legitimate concerns addressed.
As such,
necessary facilities should be sited on a case-by-case basis
by not-for-profits according to program needs and current
Fair Share criteria .
4)
Different programs have different needs and
therefore require different types of sites. For instance,
drug treatment facilities are commonly placed in
commercial or mixed-use areas . Many in fact have been
located outside of New York City.
The current criteria for determining eligibility for emergency shelter
need not be made more stringent but should be more effectively
enforced.
The emergency shelter system must incorporate a balance of
rights and responsibilities. A social contract and a mutuality of
obligation must exist between those receiving help and society-atlarge.
All levels of government should increase access to affordable
housing through various creative means including the development
of a newly established rental assistance program.
Current
economic rental market conditions afford a unique opportunity. A
working group should be formed immediately to develop these
strategies including a pilot rental assistance program.
The State and City should continue the New York/New York
permanent supported housing program for homeless individuals
with mental illness.
The State and City should broaden the New York/New York
outreach effort to address the problem of homeless individuals
living in public spaces. Outreach programs, transitional living

i

!
I

16

The Way Home

centers and supported permanent housing targeted for individuals
now residing in public spaces should be expanded and operated by
not-for-profit organizations.
The Commission considered and
of
the
standard
for
involuntary
rejected
a
lowering
institutionalization as an inappropriate and unnecessary method of
addressing the problem of homeless individuals living in public
spaces.
The City should transfer responsibility for the operation and
construction of transitional facilities and the provision of services
to the homeless from H.R.A. and the Department of Housing
Preservation and Development (H.P.D.) to a newly established
entity. The newly established entity would be responsible for
setting policy and for funding and directing transitional housing
programs as well as services for homeless people.3
Private sector corporations should be urged to develop a privatelyfunded loan program to expand the supply of permanent and
transitional low income housing.
The emergency shelter system should not be the only access route
to affordable housing.
Homelessness prevention efforts should be strengthened and
improved. "Doubled-up" families should each receive the full
shelter allowance grant rather than reduced payments as provided
under the current regulations. More should be done to allow rent
arrears payments to be made where they are likely to prevent
homeless ness and preserve tenancy.
In addition, government
must ensure the availability of services and other supports which
enable people to attain independent living status. This is simply
good, cost-effective social welfare policy and an investment in our
future.
3

This recommendation was not unanimous.

Introduction

17

The Five Year Plan should be restructured to incorporate the
recommendations of this Commission.

The implementation, operation, and oversight of the proposed new
structure can best be served by the creation of an entirely new entity. The
Commission recommends either a new City agency or establishment of a
public benefit corporation (an authority). The new entity must be able to
deal with both the service delivery and facility development required. This
Commission believes that the creation of a new entity responsible for all
phases of the system is key to its success.
The implementation of this Commission's recommendations will, of
course, require an organized and careful transition from the existing system
to the new. It is essential that this Commissio.n, or another independent
advisory body appointed by and reporting to the Mayor, have an on-going
oversight role to ensure a successful transition.
With these broad recommendations for policy reform in mind, the
Commission designed an entirely new approach to the problem of
homelessness. The Commission's intent is to provide incentives and assist
those who are homeless in becoming independent. The plan integrates the
following individualized programs to comprehensively address the needs of
homeless families and single adults for both transitional services and
permanent housing:

18

The Way Home

Single Adults System
1.

2.

3.

Reception Center
Transitional:
- Mental Health (Transitional Residence)
- Substance Abuse Treatment
- Unemployment and Undereducation (B.A.S.I.C.S.)
- HIV/AIDS
- Outreach to Homeless Persons in Public Places
Permanent:
- Permanent (S .R.O.)
- Permanent/Supported (New York/New York)

Family System
1.
2.
3.

Reception Center
Transitional - Residential Independent Living Program (R.I.L.)
Permanent- Rental Assistance Plan (Housing Now!)

The specifics of these programs are set forth herein.

CHAPTER TWO

A BLUEPRINT FOR HOMELESS SINGLE ADULTS

BACKGROUND

The Growing Reliance on the Not-for-Profit Sector

While homelessness in one form or another has always been with us,
in recent years a new type of homelessness has emerged. In the late
seventies, the homeless population dramatically changed. The "new
homeless" consisted of young men and a growing number of young women
with children. Government was ill equipped to handle this new
phenomenon. The traditional social service alternatives to government -the voluntary and not-for-profit organizations -- had limited experience and
expertise in the field, and were not prepared to address the problem.
For a myriad of economic and social reasons, the new homeless
population continued to multiply and the press and the public soon noticed
the systemic failure .to either halt the increase or assist successfully those
who were homeless. The expanded use of welfare hotels and armories
came to symbolize the inadequacy, inhumanity and waste of government's
response. The families and children who were homeless aroused public
sympathy.
The issue began to receive unprecedented publicity and
provoked mounting criticism of government's ineffective response.
By the mid-eighties, not-for-profits had recognized this growing need
and began to fill the void. Voluntary organizations, large and small, tried to

20

The Way Home

tackle the problem and this not-for-profit effort was linked with government
funds and private sector sophistication in so-called public/private
partnerships. Not-for-profits moved aggressively to assist the homeless
family population, utilizing the federal entitlement programs, Aid to Families
with Dependent Children (A.F.D.C.) and Emergency Assistance to Families
(EAF). Previously, A.F.D.C. funds · were being used primarily to pay the
exorbitant costs of welfare hotels.
Not-for-profits provided alternative
housing utilizing these previously squandered resources.
By the late eighties, because of government funds, new financing
mechanisms and heightened public awareness, not-for-profits had provided
thousands of units and helped the City to reduce its reliance on welfare
hotels. In addition to being quickly developed, these new units were
attractive, safe, and provided social services.
Hundreds of millions of
dollars of transitional housing were completed in a four to five year period.

Breakdown of Single Adults in Shelters

I

I

I
l

11!11 Males

0

Females

Source: N.Y. C. Human Resources Administration Data for December 1991

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

21

Homeless Single Adults as a Forgotten Population

Homeless single adults were not as fortunate. There was far less
effort on their behalf although their plight was as bad, if not worse, than
that of the homeless family population . Although the need for "transitional"
social services was greater among the singles population, their needs
received only a fraction of the attention that was to be focused on the
family population.
The reasons behind the lack of attention to homeless single adults are
complex. First, there were no funding streams comparable to A.F.D.C. and
EAF, and therefore little money available to serve this population .
Moreover, the homeless single population did not receive the same public
attention as the family population, nor the same level of sympathy.
The absurd waste and inhumanity that existed in the welfare hotels
10 years ago exists in the single shelter system today. The cost of a simple
cot in a shelter has reached an unbelievable $18,000 per year. (A New
York Newsday editorial on January 19,1992 compared the cost of a cot in
a singles shelter with the $20,665 needed for tuition, room and board for a
year at Harvard University.) Findings from the Commission's survey of
approximately 500 homeless single adults demonstrate the inadequacy and
incongruity of the shelter approach.
The Commission's survey found very high levels of drug abuse,
mental illness and .i nvolvement with the criminal justice system among
single residents. Appendix 8 contains the complete analysis while some of
the most important findings are summarized below:
Most of the single shelter residents were male (83%), 30 years
or older (72%), and minority group members (94%). Over half
(51%) had been in jail or prison at some time. About half
(48%) were receiving public assistance.
Female and male
single shelter residents differed very little by age or minority

22

The Way Home

I
I

I
group status. However, a .smaller proportion of female shelter
residents were Hispanic (6% vs. 19% respectively) and fewer
had been in jail or prison at some time (29% vs. 55%).

Like family shelter residents, residents of the singles shelters
experienced high levels of social or economic distress in their
households as children and adults . However, for female single
shelter residents, the social distress that was experienced
reached extremely high levels. About a third (31 %) reported
physical or sexual abuse as a child; 17% reported sexual abuse
as an adult. About one in every six (17%) said that they had
been in foster care as a child. And almost half (45%) reported
that they had been abused by their partner.
A much larger proportion of single shelter residents than family
shelter residents had been homeless for a long time (22% were
h_
omeless for 5 or more years). And two-thirds (68%) had slept
on a street, in a subway or in a park at some time. A large
proportion of single shelter residents -- 27% of the men and
20% of the women -- said that they had been in prison or jail in
the year prior to entering the shelter system.

23

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

When did you first become homeless?
1991
1989-1990
1986-1989
Before 1986
Total

Families
67%
21%
8%
4%
100%

Single Men
38%
12%
27%
23%
100%

Single Women
41 %
17%
23%
19%
100%

Fully two thirds of homeless families in the City's shelter system became homeless within
the past year, while about 60% of the single adults have been homeless for more than
one year.

80
60

Single Women

Before
1986

Source: Commission Survey (December 1991)

1989

24

The Way Home

Single shelter residents were much more likely than family
shelter residents to cite drugs and alcohol problems as the main
reason they were homeless (28% versus 8%}, and much less
likely than families to cite housing conditions (6% versus 22%}.

A much larger proportion of single shelter residents than family
shelter residents had been doubled-up (88% versus 78%}, or
had lived in their own apartment in the past (73% versus 69%).

l

A considerable proportion of single shelter residents (16%)
reported that they were working at the time of the interview
(9% full time), while over half (55%) said they had worked
within the last year, and 80% had worked within the last 3
years. Forty (40%) percent never completed high school. And
about a quarter (24%) had a serious employability problem,
defined as both lacking a high school diploma and not working
within the past year. The patterns for women and men were
very similar; however, only 28% of the single women lacked a
high school diploma.

\
f

l

I

I
I

25

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

Single Adult Employment History
Employed now
Full-Time
Employed in last year
Employed in last 3 years
Never Employed

Males

Females

Total

15%

23%

16%

8%
56%
81%
8%

12%
52%
75%
14%

9%
55%
80%
9%

90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Employed

Full-Time

now

I•

Males

Employed
in last year

0

Females

Employed
in lest 3
years

Never
Employed

T otel

Source: Commission Survey (December 1991 )

Four in every ten single shelter residents (39%) reported a drug
abuse problem, i.e., either they admitted that they took drugs
at least once a month or they said they would be willing to
enter a drug abuse program if one were available. About one in
five (22 %) reported that they had been treated for a mental or
emotional problem. About one-fifth (21 %) reported a serious or
chronic health problem and 29% said they had been
hospitalized in the last 2 years. Compared to the men, women
in single shelters reported much higher levels of health problems
and much lower levels of drug abuse; 41 % of the women
reported a serious or chronic health problem (compared to 17%
of the single men); 42% reported treatment for mental or

26

The Way Home

emotional problems (compared to 1 8% of the single men); and
far fewer women (20%) than men (43 %) reported using drugs.
Analysis of possible service needs based on mental health,
drug abuse and employability problems discussed above suggests
that: 1) slightly more than half (53%) of single shelter residents
appear to have either a mental health or a self-reported drug
2) only 12% have a serious employability
abuse problem 4 ;
problem with no indication of either a mental health or drug abuse
problem that would require treatment (compared to 23% of
families); and 3) if those who responded that they have never had
their own home or apartment are considered an approximation of
those who may need independent living skills, then about one
quarter (28%) of the single shelter residents have no service need,
i.e., have no indications of either mental health, drug abuse,
employability or independent living problems.
About 1 in 9 single shelter residents ( 11 %) were working
and not receiving public assistance.
On the question of substance abuse, the survey conducted for the
City's Five Year Plan on a self-reporting basis was inadequate. According
to that survey of 202 single individuals, only 17.9% reported that they
were currently using drugs. The Five Year Plan itself, however, states that
anecdotal evidence suggests that the level of substance abuse could be as
high as 80% among the shelter population.

4
The Commission has information on drug abuse from two different sources: 1 ) the Commission
survey (self-reported), and 2) a urinalysis conducted by the Commission under the auspices of Brookdale
Hospital.

I
~
I

27

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

Health Related Problems
Mental Health

Total

Men

Women

Clinic
Hospitalized
Prescription Medication
Clinic, Hospital , Medicine

18%
12%
13%
22%

15%
9%
10%
18%

37%
27%
26%
42%

21%
29%

17%
28%

41%
38%

General Health
Chronic Problem
Hosipitalized in past 2 years

Mental Health

General Health

45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%

10%
5%

0%
Clinic

Hospitalized

Prescription
medication

I•

Total

Source: Commission Survey (December 1991)

Clinic,
Hospital,
Medicine

OMen

Chronic
Problem

Women

Hospitalized
in past 2
years

28

The Way Home

These inconsistencies demonstrate that self-reporting is particularly
unreliable in the context of substance abuse . The Commission, therefore,
arranged for a urinalysis to be conducted on a representative sample from
the singles shelter system . Five hundred and twenty five men were tested.
Appendix C contains a description of the testing methodology and a
summary of its findings.
The testing showed the presence of drugs in 65% of the overall
singles population .5 In the assessment shelters, 63% tested positive. In
the specialized shelters, 39% tested positive. In the general population
shelters, 80% tested positive. The number of those using drugs rises
sharply from the more specialized facilities to the larger, general population
City shelters. One Commission member referred to the percentage of
substance abuse as a "misery index" -- the larger.the facility and the fewer
the services, the higher the level of substance abuse.
Unfortunately, no comparable test data exist about homeless people
who reside in public spaces. Anecdotal and other information suggests this
population is even more troubled than the shelter population.
The disabilities suffered by homeless single adults have been ignored
for too long by administrators as well as some advocates. It is not enough
to provide only "shelter" to these vulnerable and troubled individuals. Many
of them need significant social services and medical attention. Fortunately,
testimony before the ·commission demonstrated a new understanding that
we must provide both housing and services. Mary Brosnahan, the director
of the Coalition for the Homeless, provided insightful testimony as to the
need for mental health services, supported housing, job training, substance
abuse treatment, and, of course, affordable housing. Society's honest
acknowledgment of the problem is the first step toward a solution.

5
Among the substances tested for was alcohol.
positive for alcohol.

Among those who tested positive, 1 1 % tested

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

29

As City Council Speaker Peter Vallone correctly stated in testimony
before the Commission:
We need a homeless system which provides safety and services
for these people in need. A system which identifies the multifaceted problems an individual may have. A system which
moves people . towards independent living where possible or
treatment if necessary.
Current System

The current system employs a vast network of City-operated shelters
typically located in armories. Services are too often minimal, at best, and
there is no incentive to participate. When combined with the ·realities of life
on the street-- panhandling, soup kitchen meals, endless subway rides, etc.
-- shelters can actually encourage long-term dependency. Often out of fear
for their safety or an unwillingness to abide by the regimentation imposed
by shelter life, many homeless adults refuse to use shelters or use them
only intermittently. 6 Others reside in shelters by night, but spend their days
on the streets.
The result is large numbers of homeless adults in New York City's
transportation facilities, parks, street corners and other public places.
Outdoor encampments have proliferated.
The situation is intolerable.
People are suffering without the necessary care and the public is losing its
patience.
The Five Year Plan

In October, 1991, the City proposed a plan of action. The Five Year
Plan proposes the construction of 24 new shelters. The new shelters
6

This Commission heard testimony from several shelter residents who claimed that H.R.A. shelter
personnel were physically and verbally abusive and engaged in drug sales. This Commission has no additional
information regarding the matter and is not in a position to either confirm or discredit the testimony.

30

The Way Home

would accommodate approximately 50 to 150 people each and provide
services through not-for-profits. The City would develop and construct the
shelters on sites chosen from potential locations throughout the boroughs.
The · shelters would include programs offering substance abuse treatment,
mental health services, and assistance for people with AIDS. The plan has
been opposed by some elected officials and community groups.
The total plan proposes an allocation of $280 million: $200 million
for shelter construction and $80 million for permanent housing.

l

I

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

31

PROPOSED REFORM

It is the view of Commission members that New York City's future
policies regarding the homeless single adults population must clearly reject
the now outdated shelter strategy. The Commission found that homeless
single adults have two primary needs: humane housing and services.
Shelters, however, provide neither.
In addition, a new policy approach must directly and explicitly address
the problem of people residing in public spaces. Many extremely sick and
needy people are suffering from exposure and malnutrition in addition to
other untreated, and often chronic, ailments .
The Commission's hearings and discussions have addressed basic
issues, such as the specific needs of single homeless individuals, the proper
roles for government and the private sector, and how services can best be
provided and by whom.
Taken together, these recommendations entail a fundamental
departure from current procedures and pending plans, and contain radically
different service delivery, financing, siting and administration policies.
The
Treatment
intensive,
developed

Service Delivery System - Should be restructured.
services should be delivered by referring individuals to
discretely targeted residential programs, existing or
and-operated by experienced not-for-profits.

A New Financing Mechanism - Should be utilized. The
model would shift from present City capital construction funds to
a service contract model.
Private sector construction cost
efficiencies should be maximized.
Not-for-profit operating
efficiencies should be encouraged and rewarded.
In addition,

32

The Way Home

federal and State t reatment program funds should be tapped .
( See Cost chapter herein.)
Siting - Would be by not-for-profit organizations on a caseby-case basis. (See Siting herein.)
Administration of the System - Must correct the present
operational flaws and exorbitant costs. At the same time, it must
reflect the reduced role of government and different talents
required by the Commission's plan as outlined herein. (See
Administration herein.)
Specifically, the Commission recommends that the City pursue five
avenues simultaneously:
1. Stop shelter development! Refer individuals in need of service out
of the shelters and into appropriate, existing not-for-profit
residential service programs.
2. Establish a Continuum of Care. Replace the shelter system with a
three-phase system, consisting of reception, transitional and
permanent housing.
3. "Not-for-profitize." Publish Requests For Proposals (R .F.P. 's) for
not-for-profits to develop additional service programs. Specify
target popul~tion, number of beds, staffing pattern and costs.
Possible sites should include privately-owned, as well as Cityowned sites.
4 . Utilize Innovative Financing Mechanisms.
Add approximately
1 , 800 more units at no additional cost through the use of well
established financing mechanisms.

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

33

5. Downsize Government.
Downsize H.R.A. and create a new
smaller entity to both develop and manage the entire system.
The Commission's recommendations are based on a number of
interrelated considerations:

Government is not well suited to either build or operate
facilities/programs. Government should fund and regulate such
initiatives while private sector companies build and not-for-profits
operate them .
According to H.R.A. 's estimate, construction of new shelter
facilities , even if completed on time, would require four to five
years. In fact, capital construction funds are not e~en available
until 1995. This is much too long to wait for these urgently
needed services.
Referral to not-for-profits allows services to
begin being provided immediately.
The present system does not fail for lack of resources.
The
primary need is not to spend more, but to spend more wisely.
The Five Year Plan anticipates a capital construction budget of
$200 million for new shelters. It is the view of Commission
members that if reliance on not-for-profits were increased, existing
treatment capacity maximized, and creative new funding
mechanisms utilized when and where expansion is required, the
immediate need for capital dollars would be dramatically reduced.
Thus, much of the $200 million could be reallocated to assist
government supported permanent housing. The new funding
mechanism would allow construction costs to be depreciated over
a period of 20-30 years.
Referrals to not-for-profit programs could allow the City additional
access to federal and State funds.

34

The Way Home

The advantages to government's sub-contracting to not-for-profits
are significant. They include:
specialized expertise
reduced bureaucracy
experience in siting
competitive pricing
government focus on policy and
regulation rather than operation
increased political and community
support
reduced regulatory and legal
constraints
Virtually every witness to this Commission testified that not-for-profit
operated programs were preferable. This endorsement came from local
elected officials as well as social service professionals and government
regulators.

Capability of the Not-For-Profit Sector

Some members of the Commission questioned whether not-for-profits
would have the ability or desire to perform all the services necessary. The
Commission heard extensive testimony on the capacity of not-for-profits to
develop the necessary programs .
Richard Salyer, President of the
Volunteers of America (V.O .A.), testified that "The short answer to the
question of whether the non-profits can handle New York City's homeless
programs is that they are fully capable." Organizations such as Project
Return, Bowery Residents Committee, V.O.A. and settlement houses have
proven their ability in numerous applications.
The Commission found the determinative factor in assessing a notfor-profit's capacity to develop or expand a program to be financing. The
access to, and long-term availability of, a secure funding stream that serves

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

35

as the basis for construction loans, permanent mortgages, and lines of
credit, must be in place.
Technical services should also be made available to assist the not-forprofits -- especially the smaller groups -- in meeting this challenge. The
private sector could assist in providing this expertise.
In this way,
government will be making an investment in developing the capacity of notfor-profits to provide these services.
Other steps also can help not-for-profits. For example, current rules
exempt facilities of less than 20 beds from adult shelter regulations.
Consideration should be given to raising the threshold to 30 beds, so that
not-for-profit operators can more easily identify and open sites and provide
basic shelter services.
In
A three-phased system of shelter reform is described below.
addition, a strategy to address the special needs and problems of people
living in public spaces is put forward.

w

0)

Single Adults System

fleoepllon Center
Short Stay, A .. eumont end Roforrol

Ouueeoh Center
Short Stey·· Referred by Outrooch Teem

-4

=r
(1)

I

I

:E

I

Q)

I

<

Dou Not Require
Treneitionel Servlcee

flequlroe Troneltlonol ..flllo..

:I:
0

3
,(1)

1
Agroeeto . .flllo..

flefuo. . . .fllloeo

I
lhelter

lubetenoe Abuoo
30'll., lntonelvo Trootmont

Pormonent Houelng

I.A.I.I.C.I.
40')(,, Eduo1tfon 1nd Job Skill•

. -:. . l

MontoHy Ill Tft
30')(,, Six Month• Stay

AIDI ftooldenoe

Pormonent Houolng
Now York/Now York

Pormonont
Supported Houtlng

Pormonont Houolng

I

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

37

PHASE I - RECEPTION

The initial goal of the shelter system is the most basic: to provide
emergency shelter in a safe, secure setting that welcomes the individual
from the street. No person should remain outside for lack of a safe
alternative. The Reception Center, which would function as the point of
entry into the emergency system for single adults, should provide that
alternative. At the Reception Center, each adult will be assigned a case
manager.
The case manager's responsibilities will include eligibility
determination, needs assessment and, when appropriate, referral to a
residential independent treatment program.
Eligibility
Eligibility should continue to be based on existing criteria: financial
need and a lack of a viable housing alternative. Documentation of financial
need will be that which is required for Home Relief. Case managers should
be available to assist applicants for emergency housing with the acquisition
of necessary documents. In addition, the case manager will coordinate the
investigation into the applicant's housing alternatives. Family reunification,
eviction prevention, including arranging for legal representation in housing
court, and other prevention efforts will be pursued.

Assessment and Referral
Once sheltered, the individual's condition and needs can be assessed
by a professional staff. Adequate and qualified staffing is essential for fair
and effective assessment and referral. Length of stay could be up to three
weeks.

38

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After assessment, an individual will be referred, if appropriate, to a
privately operated program suited to his or her individual needs, or be
assisted in securing permanent housing.' The vast majority are expected to
require and avail themselves of the services.
A small number of eligible applicants who need services are expected
to refuse placement in such specialized programs. These individuals would
be referred to general shelters. Staff of these shelters would repeatedly
encourage residents to consider a residential independent living program.
The shelters would be operated as alcohol and drug free environments. In
addition, reasonable curfews would be in place. Moreover, shelters should
be able to encourage clients to perform duties that they would otherwise be
required to do for themselves if they lived independently. These duties
could include general light cleaning of their own area and contiguous
common areas, making of their own beds and similar chores.
Reception Centers, which could be operated by the City's new entity
or not-for-profits, are expected to be small facilities of 1 50 beds or fewer.

I
·J

I
7

A team composed of qualified professionals would assess the individual and make a referral
determination. Such a determination should be made pursuant to criteria established by the new City entity.
(See Administration chapter herein.) The new enitity should consult with appropriate professionals and
providers in promulgating the crit eria.

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

39

PHASE II- TRANSITIONAL

The "transitional" phase for homeless single adults will be the
provision of necessary treatment and services, as appropriate. This
population evidences a variety of disabilities that often overlap and do not
easily allow discrete categorization. However, for the sake of analysis, we
will discuss transitional services in the following categories:
Persons with Mental Illness
Substance Abusers
The Unemployed and Undereducated
Persons with HIV/AIDS
Homeless People Residing in Public Places

Persons with Mental lllnesss

CONTINUUM OF CARE
RECEPTION CENTER-- T.R.9 --PERMANENT/SUPPORTED S.R.O. or C.R.1 0

It is estimated that as many as 30% of homeless single adults .may
suffer from severe mental illness.
Those with a mental illness are the group most vulnerable to
victimization in the shelter system. They simply do not belong in a shelter.
Persons
with severe mental illness need and deserve the supportive
environment that they were promised when the deinstitutionalization
movement began. The Commission heard compelling testimony as to the

8
The needs of those persons with mental illness who reside in public spaces are addressed in a
subsequent section of this chapter -- Homeless People Residing in Public Spaces.
9
T.R. --Transitional Residence.
10
C.R.- Community Residence.

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40

need for an alternative to the shelters -- a bridge between homelessness
and permanent housing.
Katina Zachmanoglou of FAMI, testified:
am writing to appeal to you to make strong
recommendations to help the large percentage of the homeless
who suffer from mental illness. We know that number is
around 30-40%, perhaps more. Any report on homelessness
that does not address the needs of this neglected and
vulnerable group would be incomplete and irresponsible.
I
know that you and the other members of the Commission are ·
concerned about the mentally ill homeless and that you are not
forgetting this population. 1 1
The Commission recommends, specifically, the creation of
Transitional Residences (T.R. 's) designed to provide rehabilitation services
to homeless individuals who suffer from a serious and persistent mental
illness. In addition to providing transitional shelter, the T.R. will provide a
variety of services including assessment, rehabilitation, case management,
and linkage to medical and mental health treatment and other support
services. Alcohol and drug education will be provided to all residents, as
well as alcohol/substance abuse counseling on-site to those who have coexisting substance abuse problems. The primary goal of a T.R. is to place
these homeless mentally ill persons in permanent, supported housing. The
services are directed toward stabilization of symptoms and the development
of skills necessary to obtain this goal. Length of stay in a T.R. averages
nine to 12 months.
While there is little question that long-term care for persons with
serious and persistent mental illness has been a State responsibility, the
City has borne primary responsibility for providing acute care. While the
City and the State should be commended for having assigned discretionary

11

Katina Zachmanoglou, Chair, Housing Committee Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Friends and Advocates
for the Mentally Ill.

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

41

funds to the New York/New York. Agreement to House Mentally Ill
Individuals, a recent court order threatens to impose on the New York City
Health and Hospital$ Corporation the obligation to discharge every
homeless person with a mental illness to non-shelter housing with access to
necessary supportive services. This order, if allowed to stand, would
impose on the City obligations totally beyond both its financial capability
and any prior level of local, as opposed to State, government
responsibility.12
T.R. 's would place or "transition" individuals into the types of
permanent supported housing and Community Residences for mentally ill
people currently available under the New York/New York program. The
Commission proposes that additional resources be allocated for such
efforts.
A draft of proposed program guidelines is attached to this report.
Specific program guidelines should be developed in consultation with
experienced providers of this type of service. (See Appendix D.)
Need:approximately 30% of homeless single adults.
Cost: approximately $25,000 per annum per person.

Substance Abusers

While Commission test data show that 65% of the singles population
use drugs or alcohol, their treatment needs may vary widely. There is no
one appropriate program model. As David C. Condliffe, Director of the
Mayor's Office of Drug Abuse Policy, correctly pointed out in testimony to
the Commission:

12

A number of members of the Commission disagree with this paragraph.

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42

If there is a single message that I want to convey to the
Commission, it is this . Do not look at homeless substance
abusers as a monolith; they are a diverse group and
different groups will respond best to different modalities of
identification, treatment readiness, assessment, referral,
treatment and aftercare. We must create a system that
recognizes these differences.
Our approaches must be
sensitive to differences of culture, different states of mental
and physical health, etc.

Commission Drug Testing Results - Single Adults

Percentage
Testing Positive
Specialized
Assessment
General
Total Singles

Number of
Tests

39%

184

63%

32
309
525

80%
65%

Number of
Positive Results

72
20
248
340

'

90% .··
/

..

80%
70%
60%
50%
40% /
30% /

20%~
i

10%~ ··
I

0% '

Specialized

Assessment

General

Total Singles

Source : Tests Conducted by the Commission on the Homeless and Brookdale Hospital (January 1992)

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

43

While many homeless single adults require long-term residential
substance abuse programs, others require short-term, residential, outpatient
services, such as acupuncture and methadone. Once again, there is no
need to re-invent the wheel. The ability and capacity of those who already
provide substance abuse treatment is well established, although programs
may have to be tailored somewhat to meet the specific needs of homeless
individuals.
Although it is not feasible for local government to provide drug
treatment on demand, the Commission recommends that the new City
entity and the State Division of Substance Abuse Services issue joint
requests for proposals for development and operation by not-for-profits of
treatment programs for homeless drug abusers. These treatment programs
should include a range of modalities, such as therapeutic communities, 12
Step programs, and acupuncture. The treatment programs should be based
in specialized drug-free residential independent living programs, which also
include systematic efforts to prepare residents for the world of work and
for their responsibilities as parents .and family members. Access to health
care and AIDS education are also ~ssential. Length-of-stay in residential
independent living programs for drug abusers is expected to range from
three to 18 months.

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44

Percentages of Those Testing Positive for Specific Drugs
Singles

Drug

1%

Amphetamines
Cocaine

83%

4%

Opiates
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Phencyclidine (PCP)
Alcohol

I

30%
0%
11%

I

Amphetamines

Cocaine

Opiates

CTHCI

(PCP)

Alcohol

Note: The presence of more than one drug per individual causes the percentage total to exceed 100%.

Source: Tests conducted

by the Commission on the Homeless and Brookdale Hospital (January 1992)

A similar effort must be mounted for homeless adults who suffer from
alcoholism. The State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, in concert
with the City Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and
Alcoholism Services, should actively encourage local plans/budget requests
from experienced not-for-profit alcoholism provider agencies to operate
programs and services for homeless adults. These programs should be
based in specialized residential independent living programs that also
include other independent living skills development opportunities.

l
J

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A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

45

Individuals who have successfully completed a drug or alcohol abuse
treatment program and have a job would be eligible for assistance in
securing permanent housing. At least some of these alcohol and drug
abuse programs should have the capacity, including the necessary dual
licensure, to serve homeless persons who are abusing both alcohol and
other substances.
There are currently a significant number of proficient providers in this
area. Project Return, Day Top, Samaritan Village, and Phoenix House have
the ability to expand their capacity if the funding were available. Funding
should once again follow the NY /NY precedent with 50/50 State and City
share while maximizing federal participation.
Need: approximately 40%-60% of homeless single adults.
Cost: approximately $15,000- $18,000 per person per annum. 13

13

Based on 1989 figures from the New York Division of Substance Abuse Services.

46

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The Unemployed and Undereducated

B.A.S.I.C.S.
(Basic Autonomy Skills and Independent Career Services)
Although a large proportion of homeless single adults suffer from drug
or alcohol problems, these addictions actually are ancillary problems for a
substantial percentage of the population. For this group, chemical
dependency may be more the result of unemployment and homelessness
than its cause.
This population consists primarily of young men who are victims of
family dysfunction and the extreme poverty of their communities. Many
have had no meaningful education, are in some cases functionally illiterate,
and are without job skills. Their job prospects are, at best, limited to a lowpaying job in a service economy.
These young people need a place in our society. If the private sector
cannot absorb them directly into the workforce, then it may be up to
government to step in as it has done at similar times in the past. The
phenomenon of displaced men is not new, but has been present at different
points in our nation's history. Nor is this Commission the first to reach
such a conclusion . A 1983 report of the Governor's Task Force on the
Homeless found the same concern:
Decent jobs and relevant job-training are vital to remedy this
lack. The private market itself, if current trends are any
indication, is no answer: many of the homeless are but poorly
skilled and are little able to command entry-level positions in
today's economy. A public works program, paying minimum
wage and (it is to be hoped) training individuals in marketable
skills -- at least on a demonstration basis -- is urgently in
order.

f

f

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A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

47

The best "therapy" for these individuals is a basic one: work. These
individuals need a fundamental education and job skills to secure the
independence and dignity provided by a job.
Model programs to assist this group already exist and creative
approaches are showing success. For example, the Doe Fund's Ready,
Willing and Able Program takes single men out of shelters and provides
them with construction jobs rehabilitating City in rem housing. The City
currently places a small number of shelter youth in an upstate Job Corps
program. This experimental initiative has proven successful. Such program
activities actually save money. Efforts such as these should be expanded.
(See Creative Government herein.)
In addition, the Commission recommends the developme':"'t of a new,
comprehensive residential program to help these young people toward selfsufficiency.
The program, modeled after the successful Job Corps
program, is called B.A.S.I.C.S. (Basic Autonomy Skills and Independent
Career Services). It would provide a supportive residential environment in
which education, job training and, where necessary, medical care and
counseling, would be provided. The aim of the program is to enable an
individual to be job-ready and benefit from the dignity and independence
provided by work.
B.A.S.I.C.S. should consist of three components: (1) when
necessary, short-term intensive substance abuse treatment; (2) a school for
career development; and (3) a transition to employment, and assistance in
securing permanent housing.

48

STEP 1:

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Short Term Treatment

Step I would be a work and education-oriented therapeutic
community. Pre-vocational work skills and activities of daily living would
be stressed . Vocational test instruments would be utilized. A staff that
includes occupational therapists and rehabilitation counselors would use
individual and group approaches in the training regimen. The residents
would be exposed to self-help methodologies. Because this step of the
program would be self-contained and include a vigorous recreational
component, sufficient space must be provided. Space requirements would
include offices, group rooms, classrooms, ball fields, food service, and a
medical clinic, as well as Jiving space. A "campus style" setting would be
optimal for this program.
Length-of-stay in the program would vary according to an individual's
needs, but most would be in the program for two months. Continuation in
the program beyond a minimum two-month period would be on an
exception basis only.
STEP II:

School for Career Development

This second step would consist of a continuing residential
component, with a daily schedule of required school and job training.
Counseling for mental health or substance abuse problems would continue,
if needed. Individuals participating in this phase would live in small,
clustered residential units, but would eat most meals in a central service
building. Most of their time during the week would be spent in classes and
other activities conducted in a central service building.
The school day would consist of vocational classes in areas such as
consumer services, building maintenance, electro/mechanical services and
clerical services.
G.E.D. and basic literacy programs would also be

j

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

49

provided. While specific requirements of these classes must be considered
in the building design, the classrooms should be convertible to other types
of training to accommodate future changes in the job market.
STEP Ill:

Transition to Employment and Permanent Housing

During Step Ill, residents would receive assistance from housing
specialists in locating affordable, permanent housing. If the individual does
not already have a job in the community, he or she would work with a job
developer to find employment. During this period, as well as earlier in the
program if appropriate, clients may also participate in a work experience
program. Wages earned (either through community employment or through
a work experience program) would be deposited in a special account to be
used for such expenses as security deposits and household furnishings.
Budgeting classes also would be part of the B.A.S.I.C.S. curriculum.
Obviously, the question of employment of homeless individuals is
ultimately linked to the much larger issue of a properly functioning
economy, which is beyond the scope of this report. It is impossible to
predict the state of the economy in the years ahead, when the graduates of
the B.A.S.I.C.S. program would be expected to enter the job market. It
cannot be over-emphasized, however, that job readiness and the
accompanying personal benefits are of enormous value to the individual in
and of themselves.
Recognizing the present economic conditions , the Commission
recommends exploration of federal and State public works programs to
provide employment for these individuals. Dr. Kim Hopper, Research
Scientist at the Nathan Kline Institute and a noted expert on homelessness,
spoke to this point effectively when he said:
To return shelter to its proper, transitional function as an
institution of last resort will ultimately hinge less on what
happens within such institutions than on what happens

l,

50

The Way Home

without. This is not meant as a .counsel to despair: not only is
there still much to be accomplished in making emergency
shelter more humane in scale and function, but critical
interventions are needed and feasible in that external
environment... [But] this Commission could make a real
contribution to the debate by re-enfranchising as legitimate
government concerns meaningful work and affordable housing
for single men and women. I mean to call specifically for:
large-scale public works projects at both state and federal
levels of government, offering a wide range of training
and job opportunities -- preferably not restricted to
homeless persons; shelter-based remedial education or
training programs only make sense if there are real jobs to
be had upon graduation, and these days it makes little
sense to trust to the private market to create such jobs.
The Commission calls for a set-aside of jobs in newly established
federal and State public works programs for economically disadvantaged,
including homeless, individuals. The Commission also recommends that the
City explore additional creative avenues of retaining organizations that
employ public assistance recipients and homeless individuals.

t
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A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

B.A.S.LC.S.
1. MAIN ENTRY
2. COMMUNITY CENTER

:!. RESli>ENllAL BUILDING
-4. JOB iRAJNINGIEDUCATIONA.L.
CU\SSROOMS
S.GYM
6. OVTDOOR ItECREAnON MEA
7.PARKINO

51

52

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Revenue-Generating Work Programs
Revenue-generating work programs may offer undereducated,
unskilled and unemployed homeless individuals relevant job-training and
decent jobs at no cost to the City. A member of this Commission and
representative of the Doe Fund recommends the revenue-generating work
program as a modern and cost efficient model which merits consideration.
Revenue-generating work programs put people to work and pay for
themselves. They save the City $18,000 for every able-bodied homeless
individual whose lack of skills and work experience had prevented him or
her from securing even an entry-level position. The work that these
formerly homeless participants do pays for both the training .program itself
and the operation of the transitional facility that serves as its residential
base.

(

Employing hard work as "therapy," these programs use real work
experience and responsible living within the community to prepare
participants for independent, unsubsidized futures. Program participants
live in a drug and alcohol free environment with enforced rules of
community conduct and responsibility. Participants manage and maintain
the facility, pay for their rent and food, and save money from their weekly
paycheck.
Revenue-generating work programs should consist of three parts.
New program participants (trainees) would begin working in-house. Every
aspect of the residents' security, food preparation, cleaning and
maintenance would be performed by trainees.
The first phase of the program would provide new participants with
the work, structure and supervision they need to successfully integrate into
the community. New trainees would work with the program's trained
counseling staff who would assess the needs of the trainees and work with

!t
I

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

53

them in designing support service$ and educational programs with
measurable goals directed toward the long-term goal of independent living.
The work portion of the program would begin once the trainees are
stabilized in the community and have demonstrated their ability to remain
drug-free and productive. Work and tr~ining would be performed in five
person crews with one trained supervisor per crew. The high ratio of staff
to trainees provides a strong case management approach to skills training.
In addition to the work portion of the program, trainees would receive
classroom training, individual counseling and on-the-job training. Classroom
training would cover G.E.D. or High School Equivalency, social skills and
proper work habits, personal budgeting, fellow worker and supervisor
relations, life skills training, job interview skills, resume writing, and stress
management.
The final portion of the program would prepare trainees for, and place
them in, private sector employment and their own apartments.
A portion of these programs would be eligible for federal JTPA 14
funding .
Need:
Cost:

14

approximately 30 - 50% of homeless single adults.
approximately $17,000 - 22,000 per person per year.

Job Training Partnership Act.

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54

Persons with HIVI AIDS
CONTINUUM OF CARE
Reception Center--T.R.-- H.R.F. 15 --Supported Permanent Housing
There is an urgent need for specialized facilities to serve homeless
individuals who suffer from AIDS or who are seriously HIV ill. 16 Testimony
received by the Commission underscored the fact that shelters, which Jack
appropriate services and which are now experiencing an increasing spread
of tuberculosis, are inappropriate for these individuals.
Many of those who are HIV ill have developed active tuberculosis,
and a significant percentage of these persons are homeless. The best
protection against active tuberculosis for HIV ill homeless persons is to be
identified as HIV ill and then receive comprehensive medical care to treat
the underlying HIV infection and associated opportunistic infections. The
best way to ensure this is accomplished is to provide supported housing
linked to appropriate health care services.
The provision of adequate housing, both transitional and permanent,
is one of the most critical needs of HIV ill persons today. The New York
City Strategic Plan for AIDS estimated a need for 784 beds in either health
related facilities (HRF) or in supported residential care facilities in 1991. It is
projected that by June 1993, 4,887 people with AIDS will need housing
assistance in a number of forms.
In addition to housing, the homeless HIV ill population also requires a
plethora of supportive health and human services . The housing models for
this population, therefore, should be designed by community based groups

15
16

H.R.F. -Health Related Facility.
For purposes of this section, HIV ill is defined as those who are seriously HIV ill.

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

55

and other not-for-profit organizations with experience in developing housing
linked to an array of such services. The AIDS Institute can play a major
role in supporting this effort.
A true continuum of care must be developed.
Transitional,
permanent and acute care facilities are all needed. Additionally, a system of
day and outpatient programs must be created that will support formerly
homeless people with AIDS who are domiciled. Although there is no one
program model that performs all of these functions, models do exist to
address discrete needs.
Nursing facilities have been developed for HIV ill persons. These
facilities have been developed by providers with prior experience in hospital
care, geriatrics, supportive housing services and drug treatment.
The
eclectic nature of the sponsors reflects the need to develop new long-term
care program models in these AIDS/HIV nursing facilities. These programs
must receive continued support so that those individuals who require
significant medical and nursing care will be able to receive it.
H.E.L.P.-PSI, a 66 bed facility located in the Bronx, is the first
publicly financed facility of its kind in the nation. In operation since 1990
and licensed by the New York State Department of Health as a healthrelated facility, H.E.L.P.-PSI provides on-site medical and social services for
persons with AIDS. The goals of the facility are medical stabilization and
maximization of the resident's ability to address his or her own needs.
The facility utilizes a Medicaid funding stream to pay debt service and
operating expenses. Tax exempt financing for construction and site work
was provided by the New York State Medical Care Facility Finance Agency
(MCFFA). Referrals are accepted and solicited from affiliated AIDS centers
and hospitals, residential health care facilities, community based
organizations, substance abuse treatment providers, and homeless
individuals with symptomatic HIV infection.

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The Way Home

AIDS day care facilities represent one method of providing supportive
health and therapeutic services to HIV infected persons who have some
form of transitional or permanent housing. While some programs are
nearing completion and others are awaiting startup funds, the only existing
facility of this type is the Village Nursing Home. The Village Nursing Home
offers a wide range of services including physical and social rehabilitation
activities, case management and recreation. The program coordinates the
care needs of clients, monitors their physical and psychological status, and
encourages them to maintain their medical regimens and keep their medical
appointments.
The Village Nursing Home is licensed by the New York State
Department of Health and funded largely through Medicaid. It is designed
to work in concert with scatter site, SAO and other residential facilities, and
to provide the structured supportive environment and case m·a nagement
services required by this population.
There are a variety of Medicaid and Ryan White 17 funding sources
available that provide many of the home care services needed by HIV
infected persons to support them in a variety of housing alternatives.
Program models such as clustered home care offer the opportunity to
maintain people in community housing much longer without compromising
their safety and well being. These are critical adjuncts to any of the
supportive housing models that should be developed.
The City and the AIDS Institute should issue Requests-for-Proposals
for a range of group supportive living and case management programs for
homeless persons with AIDS. Rental assistance, such as Housing Now!
(see chapter on Permanent Housing), also should be made more broadly
available to the HIV-ill.
In addition, New York State Department of Social Service regulations
should provide for a suitable model for supported residential programs for
17

A source of federal funds available for these purposes.

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

57

homeless individuals with AIDS or HIV-illness. Existing models, which
include Residences for Adults and Adult Homes among others, were
designed to meet the needs of either frail elderly or mentally disabled
populations and are not suited to meeting the needs of homeless adults
living with AIDS. The Commission recommends that the State design,
license and regulate facilities specifically to meet the needs of homeless
adults living with AIDS or HJV-illiness.
The City and State should convene a group of experts to develop a
comprehensive plan to be incorporated into a new, New York/New York
agreement. At a minimum, the group should consider the following policy
changes: (1) adopting the liberalized criteria for AIDS recently proposed by
the Centers for Disease Control; and (2) redirecting efforts toward
permanent and permanent\supported housing rather than transitional
facilities.
Homeless People Residing in Public Spaces

The reform of the shelter system outlined above is an enormous
undertaking.
However, even if the reforms recommended by this
Commission were fully accomplished, a serious aspect of the problem of
homelessness would remain: people who reside in public spaces.
It is
believed that a great many of these people are mentally ill. The issue of
providing services to this population is complex and difficult.
The Commission extensively considered a number of measures,
including involuntary institutionalization, outreach efforts, appropriate
mental health care and permanent support.
The Commission heard much testimony on voluntary and involuntary
treatment. Virtually all mental health professionals who have spoken to this
Commission stated that treatment is far more successful when the client
enters voluntarily.
The rate of success is greatly reduced when an
individual is brought in against his or her will.

58

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As discussed in Boggs v . New York City Health and Hospitals
Corporation, 132 A.D.2d 340 (1st Dep't 1987), the so-called Billie Boggs
case, the New York State Mental Hygiene Law provides that persons who
pose a substantial risk of physical harm to themselves or others may be
involuntarily admitted to a hospital. (Mental Health Law section 9.39.)
Moreover, the courts in New York have recognized that neglect or refusal
to provide for basic needs such as shelter could pose a danger sufficient to
support involuntary institutionalization. Nonetheless, there have been calls
to amend the statute to provide explicitly that a mentally ill person may be
involuntarily institutionalized if found to constitute a danger to himself
because of neglect or refusal to provide for basic needs such as shelter.
The Commission has concluded, however, that existing statutory provisions
and the courts' interpretation thereof already allow for involuntary
institutionalization under these circumstances.
In any event, the law does not appear to be an effective tool in this
area. As discussed earlier, the rate of success in treating mental illness is
greatly reduced when the client is brought in involuntarily. What often
occurs is what is referred to as the "psychiatric revolving door."
An
individual is admitted to a municipal or general hospital on an emergency
basis. If after 15 days it is determined that the individual continues to need
treatment and is unwilling to remain voluntarily, then, upon certification by
two physicians, the patient may be retained for an additional 45 days on an
involuntary basis. Patients who are determined to need intermediate or
long-term care are transferred to a State psychiatric center after they are
stabilized . After a number of months, most individuals stabilize to a point
where they are free to come and go on their own. At that point, many
abandon the care which was never asked for in the first place. It is
probable that many persons living on the street have completed the above
described pattern of involuntary institutionalization.

59

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

Dr. Sam Tsemberis, director of Project HELP, 18 testified that pursuant
to current law almost all the homeless mentally ill currently on the street
could conceivably be picked up involuntarily. Dr. Tsemberis explained,
however, that even if such a policy were pursued, the question of how
long such a person should be held and for what purpose would still have to
be resolved.
Thus, the problem is not a deficiency in the law, but in the access to
and availability of a range of appropriate treatments.
The Commission rejects an increased involuntary treatment strategy
as ineffective and recommends that the City and State create the facilities
necessary to help this needy population on a voluntary basis. A continuum
of care should be created by:

18

1.

Increasing the number of outreach teams.

2.

Creating "safe places" in Outreach Centers.

3.

Designating four additional H.H.C. emergency rooms
CPEPS 19 to receive individuals from the outreach teams.

4.

Creating linkages· between Outreach Centers and T.R. 's.

5.

Utilizing T .R.'s to "transition" individuals into
supported SRO/Community Residence housing.

or

permanent

Project HELP is unrelated to H.E.L.P., Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged, headed by Andrew

Cuomo.

19

Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Programs (CPEP) are licensed by the State Office of Mental
Health to provide a full range of psychiatric emergency services to persons thought to be mentally ill. The
program, which is a component of a general hospital emergency room , provides a primary entry point into the
mental health system for a defined geographic area. CPEPs provide crisis intervention, assessment, mobile
crisis outreach services, crisis residential services, beds for extended observation, triage and referral. CPEPs
are required to have agreements for access to inpatient beds with a range of community service providers.

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60

Outreach Centers
The Commission recommends a significant increase in the
development of street outreach programs. The new City entity should
contract with non-profits to develop a capacity to engage homeless
individuals.
Project Reach-Out is a successful program worthy of
duplication. These outreach efforts should be systematically coordinated so
that the major areas in the City where homeless people congregate are
included.
Outreach teams should identify those individuals in their catchment
area who appear to suffer significant physical health, mental health or
chemical addiction problems. It is likely that many such individuals will
suffer from all three problems. It is also likely that many homeless people
living in public places will be extremely difficult to engage in services .
Some mentally ill people are paranoid and fear any and all contacts with
"officials." Patient efforts to build trust will be required, sometimes over
many months. Once an outreach team has successfully engaged such an
individual, the objective is to encourage that person to enter a "safe place."
The Commission calls it an Outreach Center.
Outreach Centers must be located in areas relatively proximate to
where street people congregate. 20 Otherwise, travel to distant facilities will
increase resistance to accepting assistance.
Outreach Centers, for
approximately 50 people, should be staffed by physicians, psychiatrists,
professional mental health workers, and substance abuse counselors.
Outreach Centers should be available only to individuals brought in by
outreach workers. Some homeless people living in public places may
require several visits to a center before agreeing to spend the night.

20
An Outreach Center may be annexed to a T.R. to provide economy of scale and ease of operation;
however, the Outreach Center must remain separate and distinct from the T.R.

I
J

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

61

It is expected that a homeless person residing on the street will
remain in an Outreach Center for up to 90 days. 21 During that time, the
Center's staff will engage and assess the person, identify immediate health
care needs, and attempt to persuade the person to enter an appropriate
specialized residential independent living program. However, the system
should remain flexible in order to accommodate an individual's needs.
Some individuals may need permanent/supported housing . Because this
population is likely to be especially difficult to engage, it may be necessary
to develop specialized treatment programs explicitly for mentally ill and/or
chemically-dependent homeless people living in public places. In these
programs, therapeutic interventions may need to be introduced gradually. It
is also likely that many homeless people living in public places will be
The
dually-diagnosed as both mentally ill and chemically dependent.
success of the outreach center effort may very well depend on developing
programs which can address the complex treatment needs of the dually
diagnosed population.
In order to help address the unique and unmet needs of mentally ill
persons coming from the streets, the Commission recommends that the
Governor and Mayor personally undertake an effort to expand the existing
New York/New York outreach agreement so that specific resources are
dedicated to this population.
Enforcement

Attention has been focused recently on possible enforcement
mechanisms to remove homeless people from public spaces. There was
discussion among the members of the Commission of enacting a law to
make it illegal to sleep on public thoroughfares. The purpose of such a law
would be: ( 1) to encourage those currently sleeping on the street to enter
the improved and safer facilities anticipated herein; and (2) to return public
spaces to their appropriate use.

21

Of course, some individuals may need to remain in the Outreach Center for a longer period of time.

62

The Way Home

While the Commission endorses these objectives, it believes that such
a law is not necessary to achieve them .
As Norman Siegel, Executive
Director, New York Civil Liberties Union, who has had much experience in
the field, told the Commission, those in need will avail themselves of the
improved services recommended by this Commission once the programs
and facilities exist. Those who are incapable of making rational decisions
are already provided for within existing laws. However, the Commission
believes enforcement of existing laws and ordinances can and should be
more consistent. Once the system outlined herein becomes operational,
parks, transportation facilities and public thoroughfares need not be
residence·s of last resort.
The Commission urges the City to include both outreach activities
and, when necessary, enforcement of existing ordinances related to
behavior in public space in its new community policing initiative. This
effort must be closely coordinated with the new ·city entity and, when the
frail, ill and/or addicted are identified, they must be referred to the outreach
teams and the Outreach Centers.

I

A Blueprint for Homeless Single Adults

63

PHASE Ill - PERMANENT HOUSING

As discussed previously, "transitional" housing only succeeds when
there is "permanent" housing to enter. The Commission recognizes that the
City has no legal obligation to provide permanent housing and that State
and federal governments must provide assistance in this massive
undertaking. But the Commission recommends that the City reallocate the
savings from the shelter construction funds in the Five Year Plan to make
affordable SRO and studio units.
This need for additional permanent
housing for single individuals was noted by recognized experts in the field.
Peter Smith, Chair, City Council Legislature Advisory Commission on the
Homeless, and President, Partnership for the Homeless, told the
Commission:
We [on the Council Commission] also feel that the $200 million
capital budget allocation for the transitional facilities versus the
$80 million set aside for additional SRO's and
permanent
housing is not a fair split; it's not one that reflects what the
need is.
Single individuals may receive housing assistance through three basic
mechanisms:

SRO's - Efficient and affordable units must be constructed. The
tenant mix · should be balanced to provide building stability and a
progressive community.
Studio Apartments - While somewhat more expensive than SRO's,
studios provide private bath facilities that make for a more flexible
dwelling unit and prove to be a necessity for singles with medical
conditions.

64

The Way Home

Permanent/Supported Housing . - Many mentally ill individuals will
require on-site or off-site support services for a prolonged, if not
indefinite, period .

The Commission outlines a plan herein which, not only would add
approximately 1,1 00 transitional beds to the 2,500 the City has proposed,
but also would provide $55.5 million in savings from the Five Year Plan
which should be allocated to provide an additional 763 permanent units. A
more detailed description of the Commission's approach is in the chapter on
Cost.

CHAPTER THREE

A BLUEPRINT FOR HOMELESS FAMILIES

BACKGROUND
The Commission's survey documented in substantial detail the
significant range of problems that bring families to the door of the
emergency shelter system. There is, however,__g_ commoo ne,.?d: affordable
housing, of which there is a shortage. In New York, as in other large cities,
histories of unstable~ ousmg arrangements are typically combined with
problems of family dysfunction, teen parenting, long-term welfare
dependence, untreated mental illness, lack of proper education and
substance abuse. For example, the Commission's survey found that almost
30% of the families reported being affected directly by substance abuse
and that 45% of the parents lacked a high school diploma.
The characteristics of homeless families reflect the increasingly
grinding and persistent nature of contemporary urban poverty.
This situation was not unexpected. Indicators of this type of poverty
were foreshadowed in the work of early social scientists and authors such
as Jacob Riis and Michael Harrington. More recent work on the persistence
of urban poverty by such scholars as William Julius Wilson tends to confirm
our worst fears .
Indeed, U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who
appeared before the Commission, announced that over 50% of the City's
children born in 1 980 are projected to be on welfare before the age of 1 8.

The Way Home

66

Family Shelter Population

Year

1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991

Peak Number
Of Families

2,416
3,255
4,046
4,608
5,206
5,226
4,574
3,875
4,843

Peak Number of Families in N.Y.C. Shelter System

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

Source: N.Y.C. Human Resources Administration

Analysis of the survey of family shelters residents conducted by the
Commission revealed important information about the characteristics of
family residents, their . homeless history and their service needs, and has
helped guide the Commission's policy and program recommendations.
Appendix 8 contains the complete analysis while some of the most
important findings are summarized below.

A Blueprint for Homeless Families

67

The typical family consists of a young, minority female, with a
very young child who receives public assistance . More than half
of the survey respondents (54%) were age 29 or under; 91% were
either Black or Hispanic; and 76% were female . Almost half
(47%) had a child who was less than 2 years old, and almost all
reported receiving public assistance.
A large proportion of fam ily shelter residents experienced very
serious economic and social problems in their households when
they were growing up: 53% were in a household that received
public assistance; 19% were physically or sexually abused; 10%
had spent some time in foster care; and, 1 8% grew up with
someone who abused drugs or alcohol.

Family Experiences

Public
Assistance

Physical/Sexual
Abuse

Source: Commis sion Survey (December 1991)

Foster Care

Drug/Alcohol
Abuse

68

The Way Home

The vast majority of all shelter families {88%) reported being
doubled-up at least once, while almost a third {31 %) reported that
they had never had their own house or apartment. A quarter of
families said that they had slept on a street, in a subway or park at
least once . By far, the most frequent reasons cited by families for
leaving their last doubled-up situation were overcrowding {47%)
and interpersonal conflict {34%). None of the respondents reported
that the desire to secure permanent subsidized hous1ng was a
---rt"·------- -reason for lea~rlQthe dOubled;up ~ituation.
Very few family shelter residents were working at the time of the
interview.
Almost half {45%) of family shelter residents
interviewed did not complete high school. Slightly more than a
third {35%) had a serious employability problem, defined as both
lacking a high school diploma and not working in the past year.
A sizable minority of family shelter residents showed indications of
serious health and drug abuse problems. ~bout a fifth {21 %)
reported that they had a serious or chronic health problem . About
the same proportion {19%) reported that they had been treated for
a mental or emotional problem.
Analysis of possible service needs based on mental health, drug
abuse and employability problems discussed above suggests that:
1 ) 42% of families appear to have either a mental health or drug
abuse problem; and 2) about a quarter {23%) have a serious
employability problem with no indications of either a mental health
or drug abuse problem.

A Blueprint for Homeless Families

69

In order to better assess the needs of homeless families, the
Commission arranged for a urinalysis to be conducted on a representative
sample of adults in the family shelter system. The sample was selected
from both Tier II and non-Tier II facilities.
The Commission conducted urinalysis under the auspices of
Brookdale Hospital on 495 adults in the family shelter system. Of those
adults tested, 29% tested positive -- 27% in Tier II facilities and 34% in
non-Tier II facilities.
These results seem to confirm testimony to the
Commission that more service-oriented facilities are preferable.

The Way Home

70

Commission Drug Testing Results-Families

Percentage
Testing Positive
Tier II
Non -Tier II

27%
34%

Total Families

29%

Tier II

Number of

Number of

Tests

Positive Results

331
164
495

88
66
144

Non -Tier II

Total Families

Source: Tests conducted by the Commission on the Homeless and Brookdale Hospital (January 1 992)

The quality of life and living conditions of very poor New York City
families make it unsurprising that large numbers would be forced to seek
the possibility to improve their current living conditions through even the
meager offerings of a congregate shelter or a shabby welfare hotel room .
But it does not have to be this way. Bronx Borough President Fernando
Ferrer stated it well when he testified,
New York City has the capacity to develop a . . . [policy] which
will not become a political football nor institutionalize poverty,
nor create a permanent underclass; rather, such a policy must
involve all New Yorkers in solving one of society's most
devastating problems in a compassionate and practical way.

71

A Blueprint for Homeless Families

Percentages of Those Testing Positive for Specific Drugs
Percent

Drug

5%
55%
7%
38%

Amphetamines
Cocaine
Opiates

THC
PCP
Alcohol

0%
12%

Amphetamines

Cocaine

Opiates

(THC)

(PCP)

Alcohol

Source: Tests conducted by t he Commission on the Homeless and Brookdale Hospital (January 1 992)

The Way Home

72

The Current System

Families enter the emergency system through either H.R.A. Income
Maintenance Centers or EAU's . They are then referred to one of several
different types of shelters: a Tier I, a Tier II , or a hotel.22
Tier I facilities are congregate or dormitory style shelters offering
some services and little privacy. The physical plant is most often a
converted building such as a school that has been adapted to serve as a
shelter. Use of Tier I facilities for families with children was ordered
discontinued by a 1991 law passed by the City Council. H.R.A., however,
f ~as been unable to find alternatives and is still utilizing these facilities. Tier
\J)acilities are operated by the City and cost approximately $145 per family
::......---per night23 from City, State and federal sources.
1~cilities

have come into use more recently, developed pursuant
to P
900 of the New York State Social Service regulations. The major
policy reform for homeless families, these facilities offer private
accommodations and services intended to expedite a family's return to
mainstream society. They primarily are developed and operated by not-forprofits, and funded through A.F.D.C. by the City, State, and federal
governments. 24 The cost is approximately $100 per night per family.
The use of so-called welfare hotels has long been documented.
Hotels have few services and many are in poor condition yet cost an
22

The use of Tier I and Tier II facilities as well as hotels is funded in part pursuant to A .F.D.C. under a
formula by which the federal government contributes 50% of the cost and the State and City each contribute
25%.
23
Weighted costs of Auburn, Catherine, East Third, 151 st St. as of January, 1992, as reported by

H.R.A.

24

Currently, capital construction costs are depreciated through the A .F.D.C. funding stream. Upon
satisfaction of the mortgage, the not·for-profit owns the property and improvements thereon free and clear.
The Commission finds this to be an unjust enrichment. Taxpayer funds are utilized to pay for construction
costs and there is no legitimate basis for such a windfall to the not-for-profit. There are cases in which such
a w indfall may be in the tens of millions of dollars. Upon satisfaction of the underlying mortgage, title should
vest in the City or the not-for-profit should be afforded the opportunity to purchase the property.

A Blueprint for Homeless Families

73

average of $75 per room per day. 25 After inheriting a system with
approximately 1,500 families in hotels at the end of 1989, Mayor Dinkins
was able to dramatically reduce the number of families in hotels to about
150 in August 1990. Placing thousands of homeless families, many of
whom had only recently entered-r e s e ter system-, -,~n"'ro=--'ermanent

ho~ing appears to have contributed .to an enormous surge of families
entering the system in the latter part of 1990.26 By 1991, the City was
forced to return, to a -lesser but still substantial degree, to hotels. Today,
there are almost 1 ,000 homeless families in hotels. It is unfortunate that
hotels are once again a significant source of emergency shelter for the
City's homeless families.

25

26

Source: H.R.A. While this is an average, some hotel rooms cost in excess of $125 per day.
Not all Commission members agreed with this premise.

The Way Home

74

Families • Where they Stay in the Shelter System
Facility Type
Hotels
Special Residences
Tier I Facilities
Tier II Facilities
Total

Number of Families
926
227
440
3,230
4,823

Percentage
19.20%
4.71%
9.12%
66.97%
100%

9.12%

Q

Hotels

Special Residences

ili.lJ

Tier I Facilities

Tier II Facilities

Source: N.Y.C. Human Resources Administration Monthly Report (December 1991)

This Commission has heard many different theories on what causes
the number of families in the emergency system to fluctuate.
Some
maintain that all of those entering the system do so because they lack a
truly viable housing alternative.27 Others believe that while many families

27

The demand for housing in the City is tremendous. An estimated 600,000 people are on the waiting
list for New York City Housing Authority units. H.P.O. estimates that anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000
people are living in doubled-up conditions. Plainly, the emergency shelter system can never serve all of those
living in crowded circumstances, and must limit itself to helping only those without a viable housing
alternative.

A Blueprint for Homeless Families

75

may be "doubled up," their current s.ituation, while not optimal, is viable.
Accordingly, they believe that some families enter the emergency system to
improve their housing situation. A corollary to this theory is that the design
of the system itself brings in many families.
A system that offers
unregulated shelter, such as a hotel room or easily available permanent
housing, attracts more families to enter.
Whichever theory is accepted, the fact remains that the current
system is fatally flawed as demand exceeds resources. The emergency
system simply was not created nor designed to provide fully subsidized
permanent housing to all who ask.
Moreover, there currently are no
intelligent or uniform criteria to establish needs or priorities for this scarce
resource. As one witness described it to the Commission, "the system is
essentially first come, first serve; if you can stand the wait." The result is
that the emergency system has become overloaded with few exiting into
permanent housing. The system is burdensome to the family and expensive
for the taxpayer.
Even for those who successfully negotiate the system and obtain
permanent housing, the question remains as to whether they have been
adequately assisted.
The system was not, and is not, designed to
empower a family to escape persistent poverty and dependence on
government programs. It is simply another expensive handout. According
to H.P.D., a full 50% of homeless families presently applying for permanent
housing were previously placed by the City into permanent housing.2s
There are a great many families who require assistance in independent
living before they can be placed in permanent housing. As one official told
the Commission, "We're seeing the same families again and again; we're
not helping them and we're wasting money."
There is little doubt that the system needs radical change.

28
For every two families HRA places without screening in HPD permanent housing, one previously
placed family returns from HPD housing to the shelter system.

76

The Way Home

PROPOSED REFORM

While each family is unique, homeless families generally require one
of the following two distinct types of assistance: ( 1 ) affordable housing
only; or, (2) the social service support necessary for independent living prior
These two situations must be
to placement in affordable housing.
addressed differently.
Currently, the Tier II system does not distinguish between these two
situations, let alone among the various degrees of service need on a
continuum, and attempts to perform all functions simultaneously.
Attempting, within the same environment, to serve populations with very
different needs defeats the purpose of a Tier II.
The homeless family system as it currently exists has no control or
regulation as to the number of people entering the system. All those who
enter are treated similarly and promised permanent housing; albeit later
rather than sooner. The poor conditions and length-of-stay in the shelter
system are used to discourage entrance. This system is indiscriminate,
makes no determination as to need, and is very expensive.
Tier II facilities originally were designed to provide interim shelter and
permanent housing assistance. However, Tier II facilities no longer perform
that function effectively, as permanent housing has become so scarce that
at times an extended length-of-stay has been mandated in an effort to
control the flow of families out of the system.
The ~iss·on believes that tllit .. few - families emtering the
emergency system whose only need is affordable· housing should become
eligible - for housing assistance. 29 (e.g., Housing Now! rental assistance
program set forth in the chapter-on· Permanent Housing.) There is no need
29

Of course, no level of government, and certainly not City government, has a legal obligation to
provide permanent housing. However, we urge that all levels of government make available discretionary
funds for this purpose.

A Blueprint for Homeless Families

77

for social services or a mandated waiting period for these families. The
delay imposes an undue hardship on the family and an unnecessary
expense on the taxpayer: while an apartment for a family of four can be
rented for approximately $700 per month; the monthly cost of a Tier II is
$3,000 and the monthly cost of a Tier I is $4,300. 30
The second and far more common situation presented is for those
families who need some form of social service assistance before moving to
permanent housing. While Part 900 provides for some social services in
Tier II facilities, they are neither intensive nor targeted.
Commissioner Peter Brest of New York State Department of Social
Services provided insightful testimony when he stated:
The need is for a more service intensive model. Whether the
needs of families have changed since the regulations were
being developed, or whether these needs were underestimated
in the first place, there is no question that many families require
more than simply transitional housing and basic services.
Among the trends that we see among homeless families, the
following all argue for significant changes in the shelter system:
single-parent households who have little or no experience
in living independently;
the number of families with children in foster care;
the lack of educational attainment and work experience;
the rise in substance abuse;
the rise in AIDS and HIV-related illness.
Tho~gh

individual shelters may take steps to obtain funding for
such services, there is no overall plan to target specific facilities
for families with particular needs and refer families entering the
system accordingly.

30

Source: N.Y.C. Human Resources Administration.

78

The Way Home

This Commission proposes revamping the existing system to better
address the problem of homeless families. This Commission proposes a
three phase system:
Phase
Reception:
Assessment, including eligibility
determination and review of the specific needs of the family
and referral.
Phase II Transitional:
The provision of social and related
services and basic independent living programs, when
appropriate.
Phase Ill Permanent Housing:
housing.

Access to affordable permanent

en
.....

Family System

(I)

~

Reception Center

E
('0

Short Stey, A ..e..ment end Relerrel

LL.

I

(I)
(I)

I

Q)

a;

E
0

Does Not Require Transitional Services

Requires Transitional Services

I

l:

...0

...c

'+-

Family Refuses Service Plan

Family Agrees to Service Plan

·~

I

c.
Q)
~

as

Independent Living Program

<(

Permanent Housing

Permanent Housing

(Houeing Nowl Voucher)

fHouelng Nowl Vouoher)

---

Shelter

80

The Way Home

PHASE I - RECEPTION

Applications for emergency housing should be processed through a
number of Reception Centers located in each borough. Reception Centers
should replace Tier I facilities, hotels and EAU's as soon as practicable. 31
The Reception Centers should be operated directly by the new City entity.
Eligibility determination, receipt of emergency health and family
intervention services, assessment of family strengths and needs,
development of a care plan, and assignment, if appropriate, to a residential
independent living (R.I.L.) program, as described below, will occur at the
Reception Center. Prevention services and legal representation of tenant
rights, now provided elsewhere, should also be provided on site. These
various Reception Center functions should be coordinated for individual
applicant families by a case manager. Length-of-stay in the Reception
Center, which would contain private sleeping arrangements for
approximately 1 00 families, meal services, and limited emergency services,
is expected to be no more than 21 days. The environment of the Reception
Center must be designed and managed with children in mind. They must
be drug-free environments, children must be continuously supervised, and
reasonable curfews and expectations regarding the maintenance of private
sleeping areas must be enforced.
In addition, appropriate recreational
space, quiet areas for homework and related activities and private offices
for meetings with case managers are necessary.
Reception Centers
specifically for families with special needs, such as pregnant women and
families with newborns or sick family members, would be included in this
model.

31

The Commission recommends that Tier I facilities, hotels and EAU's be replaced by: a)
implementation of Reception Centers and b) making Tier II units available by moving eligible families currently
in Tier II facilities to permanent housing utilizing The Housing Now! rental assistance plan outlined herein.

Cost

113

Housing Now! Rental Assistance Program

Monthly
Annually
500 Units
1000 Units
3000 Units

Total Cost
$700
$8.400
$4,200.000
$8,400,000
$25,200,000

less Federal Share
of A.F .D.C. 55
$156
$1,872
$936,000
$1,872,000
$5,616,000

Subtotal
less State Share
$544
$272
$6,528
$3,264
$3,264,000
$1,632,000
$6,528,000
$3,264,000
$19,584,000
$9,792,000

Net City Cost
Housing Nowl
$272
$3,264
$1,632,000
$3,264,000
$9,792,000

Tier II Shelters Compared to Housing Now! Rental Assistance Program

Total Cost
Per Unit

Monthly
Annually

500 Units
1000 Units
3000 Units

$3,000
$36.000
$18,000,000
$36,000,000
$108,000,000

less Federal and
State Share of
Total City Share
A.F.D.C.
$2,250
$750
$27,000
$9,000
$13,500,000
$4,500,000
$27,000 ,000
$9,000,000
$81,000,000
$27,000,000

City Cost of
Housing Now!

$272
$3,264
$1,632,000
$3,264,000
$9,792,000

Net City
Savlnas
$478
$5,736
$2,868,000
$5,736,000
$17,208,000

City~Developed Permanent Housing Units Compared to Housing Now ! Rental Assistance Program

Total Cost
Monthly
Annually

500 Units
1000 Units
3000 Units

$745" 0
$8,940
$4.470.000
$8,940,000
$26,820,000

less Federal and
State Share of
Total City Share
A.F.D.C.
$234
$511
$2,808
$6,132
$1,404,000
$3,066,000
$2,808,000
$6,132.000
$8,424,000
$18,396,000

City Cost of
Housing Now!

$272
$3,264
$1,632,000
$3,264,000
$9,792,000

Net City
Savinas
$239
$2,868
$1 ,.4 34.000
$2,868,000
$8,604,000

55 For a family of four, the shelter allowance is $312 per month and the federal share Is 50%.
56 Source: New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development and Smith Bamey. Includes
debt service, M&O and current foregone value of the federal section 8 voucher.

114

The Way Home

A rental assistance program can work only if there is a sufficient
supply of vacant apartments at the rental assistance level. Preliminary
results of the 1990 Housing Vacancy Survey showed an increase in the
New York City overall vacancy rate from 1.7% in 1987 to 3.8% in 1990,
indicating that more than twice as many units are available now than were
available in 1987.57
Although the term of the Housing Now! assistance is set at one year,
the Commission recognizes the likelihood that many of the subsidies will be
renewed.
Renewals will be made, however, only when demonstrable
progress or effort is made toward independent living. By setting realistic
goals for families and providing caseworker follow-up during time that the
rental assistance is provided families would be encouraged to lessen their
economic dependency on government.

5 7 Source: New York City Oepanment of Housing, Preservation ond Development.

CHAPTER EIGHT

ADMINISTRATION
The current administration of the emergency shelter system is far
from perfect. Costs are exorbitant, with taxpayers paying $18,000 per
year for a cot in an armory and almost $53,000 per year to keep a family in
a congregate Tier I facility. This is absurd.
In addition to reduced costs, the new system must ensure improved
access to, and coordination of, existing government programs and fundi ng
streams. Currently, responsibility for homeless services is managed in
several areas of government. Those wishing to provide services must
spend valuable time and resources navigating the bureaucracy.
Service providers and emergency shelter operators should not be
forced to reconcile the conflicting demands and requirements of various
government departments -- on either the City or t he State level -- in order to
assist the homeless. Housing and social services, as well as mental health
and substance abuse services, all are handled by separate government
agencies with no one coordinating body to help the homeless. Perhaps one
reason that there has been no effective response to homelessness is
because no one entity has been charged with solving the problem.

(
·'

The plan outlined herein is a rad ical departure from current operations
However, a system's design is only as good as its
and proposals.
implementation. The administration of the emergency system, therefore,
must change to reflect its new reality.

116

The Way Home

An essential element of the plan is the privatization of service
delivery. In effect, operations would be subcontracted to not-for-profits.
The role of government should shift from direct provider to policymaker.
This downsizing of government would be accompanied by a change
in its role. Government's primary responsibilities would be to develop
policy, supervise construction, acquire services, monitor contracts and
regulate operations. Labor- and management- intensive tasks would be
transferred to not-for-profits. Government's remaining responsibilities will
pose different challenges and require different talents.
The primary responsibility for the City's emergency system now rests
with H.R.A. The expertise required to implement the Commission's plan,
however, is beyond the agency's purview.

)

After much discussion the CeFAmissien tses eonelt1ded tnat-a-new
entity must b<e created to develop and i~plement the City's homeless
policies apd Qrograms. 58 This entity would be small, entrepreneurially
styled, and function as a "general contractor• for the system. The funds
necessary for the operation of this new entity would be provided from
those saved from the simultaneous downsizing of H.R.A. Indeed, the total
number of employees of H.R.A. and the new entity are expected to be
fewer than those currently at H.R.A alone, due to the restructuring of roles
of government and not-for-profits.

-

While the Commission agreed on the need for the new entity, the
Commission did not agree-as tO whether the new -entity should be a City
agency or a public benefit corporation -- an authority.
The advantages of an authority were said to include: the ability to
more readily involve the private sector in construction design and
supervision; enhanced financing ability through bonding capacity; and
increased administrative continuity as a result of term appointments of
58 There was one dissent and one abstention ftom this recommendation.

Ad m inist ration

117

those who would govern the authority. An independent authority also
should be more effective in the siting process.
The Commission has recommended the adoption of a new system in
which not-for-profits would site facilities in a decentralized manner. While
this approach should minimize opposition to needed facil ities, it wi ll not,
unfortunately, eliminate it. Although not-for-profits are less vulnerable to
political pressure, it can be anticipated that such pressure will be brought to
bear on whatever City entity contracts with a not-for-profit for services at a
particular facility. It is likely that an independent authority would be better
able to withstand such pressures than an agency so that funding and
contracting decisions could be made on the merits.
Regardless of which form the new entity takes, the implementation
of this Commission's recommendations will require an organized transition
from the existing system to the new. The Commission urges that a smooth
and rapid transition to the new system be a top priority for the City. It is
essential that this Commission, or another independent advisory body
appointed by and reporting to the Mayor, have an on-going oversight role to
ensure that the transition is successful. (See Appendix J.)

The plan recommended herein envisions sweeping policy and program
reforms. However, no one on the Commission would suggest that this will
"solve" the problem of homelessness. The problem did not arise overnight;
nor will it be resolved overnight.
The system is and will teJDaiA"'inhetently flawed so long as demand
for housing outpae-es resources. It is estimated that there are anywhere
f rom 100,000 to 300,000 people in the City living "doubled up."
Theoretically, each and every one of these persons is in need of affordable
housing. Alone, the City- caRRot begin to meet this need; and even with the
assistance of the.Stat~,-the necessary resources simply are not available.

118

The Way Home

The federal government must honor the responsibility it has failed to honor
for the last ten years. Only once a massive low-income housing program is
initiated will New York City truly be on the road to ending homelessness.

Glossary

GLOSSARY

B.A.S.I.C.S. (Basic Autonomy Skills and Independent Career Services): As
proposed by the Commission, a privately operated residential program for
homeless single adults focusing on education and job training and intended
to enable them to transition to employment and permanent housing.
Housing Now! Rental Assistance Plan: As proposed by the Commission, a
rental assistance program for permanent housing.
New York/New York Program: A joint State/City initiative available to
provide permanent, supported housing for the homeless mentally ill.
Outreach Center: As proposed by the Commission, a privately operated
reception center available to homeless single adults living in public spaces.
Outreach Centers would offer assessment, health care and referral to
appropriate residential independent living programs.
Outreach Team: As proposed by the Commission, a team of qualified
professionals who would identify and engage individuals living in public
spaces who appear to suffer significant physical health, mental health or
chemical addiction problems.
Part 900: Regulations promulgated by the New York State Department of
Social Services governing the operation of Tier I and Tier II facilities for
homeless families. 18 NYCRR Part 900.
Reception Center: As proposed by the Commission, facilities of 1 50 beds or
less for homeless single adults.
For homeless families, facilities for
approximately 1 00 families with private sleeping arrangements, meals and
limited emergency services.
During Reception Center stay, which is
expected to be no more than 21 days, residents will be assessed for referral
to appropriate service programs or permanent housing .
Request f or Proposals (R.F.P.): Process whereby the City solicits proposals
for participation in construction, operation and provision of services for City
developed programs.
Residential Independent Living Program (R.I.l.):

As proposed by the

Commission, privately operated transitional housing facilities for homeless
families which would address the specific needs of the family and prepare
them for permanent housing and independent living.
Shelter: As proposed by the Commission, emergency housing facilities for
those determined to be in need of services but who refuse placement in
specialized programs or who refuse to cooperate with the requirements of
the specialized programs. For single adults, these facilities would be alcohol
and drug free environments with reasonable curfews. For families, these
facilities would include early childhood development and after school
programs and would be governed by rules and regulations designed to
achieve a safe, drug-free and controlled environment.
Shelter allowance: Payments made to recipients of Aid to Families with
Dependent Children for the cost of shelter, based on family size and
geographic location.
Tier 1: Congregate or dormitory style shelters for homeless families.
Tier II: Shelters f or homeless families which off er private accommodations
and some social services.
Transitional Residences (T.R.): As proposed by the Commission, privately
operated transitional housing facilities for homeless, single adults with
serious mental illness. T.R. 's would offer rehabilitation and support services
directed toward stabilization of symptoms and the development of skills
necessary for placement in permanent, supported housing.
Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (U LURP): City review process for
development projects "of significant land use impact. •

Appendix A
Commission Hearings Witness List

/

COMMISSION HEARINGS WITNESS LIST

November 20. 1991
1.

Homeless persons testifying anonymously

2.

City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone

3.

Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer

4.

Deputy Mayor Barbara Fife

5.

Tony Degenova, Columbia University Community Services

6.

Ed Geffner, Manhattan Bowery Corp.

7.

Laura Jervis, Valley Lodge

8.

Steven Banks, Esq., Coordinating Attorney, Legal Aid Society's
Homeless Family Rights Project

9.

Commissioner Richard Surles, New York State Office of Mental
Health

10.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein
College of Medicine - Montefiore Medical Center

11 .

Rev. Timothy Mitchell, Ebenezer Baptist Church

December 10. 1991
1.

Homeless persons testifying anonymously

2.

Queens Borough President Claire Shulman

3.

Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger

4.

Joseph Rose, Executive Director, Citizens Housing and Planning
Council

A-1

5.

Dr. Jerome Carrol, Project Return Foundation, Inc.

6.

Antonio Ferriera, Project Return Foundat ion, Inc.

7.

Reginard Pulliam, Project Return Foundation, Inc.

8.

Dr. Frank Lipton, Deputy Commissioner and Medical Director, New
York City Human Resources Administration

9.

Dr. Sam Tsemberis, Director of New York City Project HELP

10.

Mr. Slater, resident

December 19. 1991
1.

Homeless persons testifying anonymously

2.

Unit ed States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

3.

Brooklyn Borough President Howar d Golden

4.

Peter Smith, Chair, City Council Legislative Advisory Commission on
the Homeless and President, Partnership for the Homeless

5.

Elizabeth Lynch, Housing Associate Coordinator for Emergency
Al liance for Homeless Families

Januarv 7. 1 992
1.

Dr. Anna Lou Dehavenon, Action Research Project

2.

Beverly Kolber, resident

3.

Mike Shor, resident

4.

Frances Levenson, Coalition for Homeless Women, Women's City Club

5.

George Carter, ACT-UP

A-2

6.

Jamie Leo, resident

7.

John Greenbaum, Bond Street Drop-In Center, Catholic Charities

8.

Jonathan Meyer, Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter

9.

Christopher Meade, Legal Action Center for the Homeless

10.

William Klamman, Project Hospitality

11.

Eddie Fennel, Ready, Willing and Able

12.

Emily Marks, United Neighborhood Houses

13.

Lorence A. Long, resident

14.

Laura Konigsberg, Homeless Resource Center

15.

City Councilmember Kenneth K. Fisher

16.

City Councilmember Adam C. Powell

17.

Alkay Waller, Ready, Willing and Able

18.

Aurora Zepeda, Homes for the Homeless

19.

City Councilmember Samuel Horowitz

20.

Father Donald Sakano, Catholic Charities

21.

Dan Margulies, Community Housing Improvement Program

22.

Peter Fine, Educational Alliance

23.

Virginia Shubert, Housing Works

24.

Betty Williams, Housing Works

25.

Vernon Richmond, Housing Works

J

I

A-3

26.

Bishop Jeffries, Housing Works

27.

Martin Goldberg, Warbasse Co-op

28.

Cynthia Dames, Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies

29.

Rev. Timothy Mitchell, Ebenezer Baptist Church

30.

Rochelle Malamed, Joint Council of Neighborhood Associations

31.

Sandra Lester, resident

32.

John T. Bulger, Stuyvesant High School

33.

Naomi Richmond, Community Board #12

34.

Katina Zachmanoglou, Alliance for the Mentally Ill

35.

J. Anderson, East 77th Street Block Association

36.

Jean Friedlander, resident

37.

Marilyn Geyer, NoHo Neighborhood Association

38.

Keith Crandell, Manhattan Community Board #2

39.

Julio Sabater, Manhattan Community Board #11

40.

Guido Ciancotta, Concerned Citizens of Withers Street

41 .

Theresa Ciancotta, Concerned Citizens of Withers Street

42.

Ruth Rawback, Manahattan Mental Health Council

43.

Claire Haaga, Housing Services, Inc.

44.

Mary McCabe Gandall, Manhattan Mental Health Council

45 .

David Beseda, Nazareth Homes

46.

Ron Millican, Community Board #7

A-4

4 7.

Sherry Rodena, All-Craft Self Help Center

48.

Norma Crespo, Positives Anonymous

49.

Michael Goodwin, Recover Hotline

Januarv 14. 1992

r

1.

Staten Island BorOU!;Jh President Guy Molinari

2.

Dr. Kim Hopper, Research Scientist, Nathan Kline Institute for
Psychiatric Research and President of the National Coalition for the
Homeless

3.

Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director, Coalition for the Homeless

4.

Peter Brest, Associate Commissioner, Office of Shelter and Supportive
Housing Programs, New York State Department of Social Services

5.

Norman Siegel, Esq., Executive Director, New York Civil Liberties
Union

6.

Jack Doyle, Administrator of Homeless Services, American Red Cross

7.

Dr. Billy Jones, M.D., Commissioner, New York City Department of
Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services

8.

David Condliffe, Director, Mayor's Office of Drug Abuse Policy

9.

Carlos Pagan, El Regresso

10.

Elizabeth Sturz, Argus Community, Inc.

11'

Willie Washington, Manhattan Bowery Corp.

12

Paulette Rivers, Miracle Makers

13.

Henry Stern, President, Citizen's Union

A-5

14.

Jean McPartland, Private Citizen

15.

M ichale Slade, Chairperson, Shelter Residents Program Development
Committee

16.

Ray Richardson, President, Home Grown, Inc.

17.

Vera Hasner, All iance for the Mentally Ill of New York State

18.

Michael Halley, Co-Chairman, Fellows Program, Municipal Arts Society

19.

Andrew Bush, Private Citizen

A·6

Appendix 8
Survey Methodology, Results and Questionnaire

SURVEY OF HOMELESS SHELTER RESIDENTS

INTRODUCTION

In order to learn more about the homeless individuals in the New York City shelter
system, a survey invoMng detailed personal interviews with approximately 1000
individuals currently residing in the system was jointly sponsored by the Commission on
the Homeless and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. The survey was
conducted under the supervision of the Center for Social Research at the City University
of New York. Section I below discusses the survey methodology, while Section II reports
the major findings.

I. METHODOLOGY
Information was gathered from approximately 1000 residents in New York City's
homeless shelters. To increase sampling efficiency, 20 of the 138 shelters were first
selected to participate in this study, and then individuals within those 20 shelters were
selected for interviews. The methodology for selecting the 20 shelters and for selecting
individuals within those shelters is described below.
Site Selection
In order to obtain a representative sample, while maximizing the efficiency of the survey
operation, homeless shelters were divided into a number of categories and then a
proportionate number of shelters from each category was selected into the sample. The
two main categories of shelters were:
o
o

shelters for single men and women, and
shelters for families.

Shelters for singles were subdivided into:
o
o
o

assessment facilities,
specialized facilities (veterans, employable, etc.), and
general facilities.

Shelters for families were subdivided into
o
o
o

Tier l's and hotels;
Tier ll's, populations less than 50; and
Tier II'S, populations greater than

so.

Specific shelters were randomly selected, based on the size of their resident population.
Each shelter had one chance for selection into the sample per each 50 individuals or
families in the shelter. For example, a shelter with 180 families would have four chances
for selection, since the population was rounded to the dosest 50. Larger shelters had
greater representation in the pool, and therefore, a greater chance of being selected.

B- 1

Respondent Selection
Wrthin selected shelters, specific individuals were chosen for interviews through the
following process:
a) To ensure the anonymity of individuals, and to reduce the potential bias that could
result from self-selection, individuals were identified by their room, bed, or meal
card numbers, not by name. This list of numbers served as the sampling frame
for each facility. Numbers were verified by the staff of the facility 1n order to
eliminate cheating or duplication of respondents.
b) The total number of individuals or families in the shelter was divided by the
number of interviews. scheduled to be collected from that shelter. This figure is
the sampling fraction (k) for that ~cility. Wrth few exceptions, the sampling
traction was the same in each facility.
.
c) As a first step, one individual was randomly selected to participate in the survey.
The rest of the sample was obtained systematical~ by picking every kill individual
on the sampling frame, subsequent to the first indiVidual who had been randomly
selected.
This procedure produced the desired number of interviews per slte, while minimizing the
potential tor bias.
Survey Administration
The survey was administered under the supervision of the Center for Social Research at
City University of New York. In addition to the procedures outlined above, several
additional steps were taken to promote the conection of valid and reliable data and to
ensure the confidentiality of respondents.
Administrators at shelters selected for participation in the stuc;ty were asked to prepare
for the survey in a number of ways. Shelter clientele were told 1n advance that they had
been selected at random to take part in an anonymous survey. Each shelter provided a
separate space where the interviewer and interviewee could speak privately to one
another. Extra staff were provided to maintain order. In family shelters, day care was
provided.
Three steps were taken to promote the quality of the interviews. First, interviewers were
trained prior to data collection. Second, supervisors were available while interviews were
being conducted to provide oversiQht, answer questions, and respond to unusual
situations. Third, at least one of the Interviewers at each slte was proficient in Spanish
and a Spanish version of the survey was available.

1AJ a few faclities. all shelter residenls were asked to participate in order to recelve the necessary quota ol

completed surveys.

B-2

II. FINDINGS OF SHELTER SURVEY

Findings from the survey of shelter residents are discussed below.

Demographic, Social, and Economic Background Characteristics
Table 1 presents various demographic, social, and economic background
characteristics of shelter residents. In family shelters, the responses refer to the
characteristics of the family head. Findings from "T:able 1 are highlighted below.

I

o

More than three-quarters of the respondents in family shelters were female, while
most respondents in singles shelters were male (83%).

o

The heads of families in family shelters are much younger than the residents of
single shelters. Approximately half of respondents in family shelters are between
the ages of 20 and 29. On the other hand, over 70"A. of the single shelter
residents (male and female) are 30 years of age or older.

o

Regardless of the type of shelter, most shelter residents are black: 76% of those
in single shelters and 61% of those in family shelters. Hispanics accounted for the
next largest share of shelter residents: 17% of those in single shelters and 30% of
those in family shelters. Less than 10% of shelter residents were white or of other
races, such as Native Americans or Asian and Pacific islanders. This distribution
is not representative of the New York City population. According to the 1990
census, 43% of New York City residents are non-Hispanic white, 25% are black,
and 24% are Hispanic.

o

Residents of single shelters are less likely to be married than residents of family
shelters. Nearly three-quarters of the residents of single shelters have never been
married and an additional 21% are divorced or separated. Just 4% are currently
married. In contrast, 46% of the family heads in family shelters are married or
living with someone.

o

Shelter residents were only slightly less educated than the general population.
According to the 1980 census, 63% of the New York State population age 25+
had at least a high school education and 33% had at least some college. In family
shelters, 55% had completed high school and 13% had some college. Wrthin the
single shelters, men were less educated than women. More than 40% of the men
had not completed high school, compared with less than 30% of the women.
Alternatively, just 20% of the men had completed some college, while nearly 30%
of the women had some college.

o

Residents of family shelters were much more likely to have had children (97%)
than residents of single shelters (60%). Within single shelters, women were less
likely to have had children (51%) than men (61%).

o

More than 40% of the family heads in family shelters reported having had three or
more children. Nationally, 27% of all women with children report having three or
more children.

o

Nearly half of the respondents in family shelters had children who were under the
age of two. Approximately three-quarters of these families had a child who was

B-3

under the age of six. Nationally, only 38% of families with children have children
under the age of six.
o

Large proportions of family shelter residents experienced very serious economic
and social problems in therr households while they were growing up: 53% were in
a household that received public assistance, 19% were physically abused, 10%
had spent some time in foster care, and 18% had lived with someone who abused
drugs or alcohol. Single shelter residents displayed a similar history, with the
exception, however, that fewer (36%) of the respondents in single shelters had
been on public assistance during childhood.

o

Women in single shelters were more likely to have experienced childhood distress
than the male residents. Women were much more likely to have reported being
physically abused (31% vs. 13%) or sexually abused (17% vs. 1%). Additionally,
women were more likely than men to have been in foster care (17% vs. 9%).

o

Women in single shelters continued to experience abuse in adulthood. Forty-five
percent of the female residents in single shelters reported being physically
abused by their partners and 21% reported being sexually abused. Residents of
family shelters, three-quarters of whom are women , reported lower, but still
disturbing, levels of abuse: 23% were physically abused by their partners and 7%
were sexually abused.

o

Almost all family shelter residents reported receiving public assistance (92%)
compared to about half (48%) of single shelter residents.

o

Male residents of single shelters were more likely to have ever been In jail (55%)
than either female residents of single shelters (29%) or respondents in lamily
shelters (15%). They were also more likely to have been in jail during the
precedlng year (26% of male single shelter residents vs. 20% for female singles,
or 7% for family shelter residents).

B-4

Table 1: Demographic and Social Background Characteristics
Family Sheltn
Tltr1
T1tr 2
Total
Hotel a

Men

Sl!!!lll Sh11t!il
Women
Total

(71)

(430)

(501)

(414)

(85)

(499)

29%

23%

24%

100%
0

()'!(,

100

83%
17

RESPONDENT CHARACTERISnCS
Gender:
Male
Female
Age:
19and under
20 • 24 years old
25 • 29 years old
30 • 39 years old
40 • 59 years old
60 years and over

71

n

6
26
17
41
11
0

3
24
27

33
12
1

76
4
24
26
34
12

1
7
19
24
4

0
7
21
43
27
2

5
75
19
1

10
80
6
5

6
76
17
2

71

22

75
5
0
12

72
4
1
21

2

8

3

0

8
21
43
28

45

Race/ Ethnicity:
White
Black
Hispanic
Other

7

7

56

62

34
3

29
3

30

Current Marital Status:
Single
Married
Uving w~h someone
Divorced or separated
Widowed

41

33
14
11
0

42
32
14
11
1

42
32
14
11

7
34
49
6
4

4
42
41
12
1

5
41
42
11
2

5
37
38
17
3

5
23
43
25
4

4
27
34
34

3
25
27

3
28

39
20
20

45

43

22

49
19
13
19

40

26

47
16

47

26

46
27
19

14
14
31

11

8

4
24
45
27

5
23
43
2

Last Grade ot Schoof Completed:
Less than 8 years
8·11years
High school grad or GED
Some college
College/graduate school

7
61
3

3
1

5

35
39
18
4

CHILDREN OF RESPONDENT
Number ot ChHdren:
0
1
2
3 or more
Age ot Youngest Chid:
Less than 2 years
2 • 5 years old
6 • 13 years otd
14 years and older

B·5

26
20
8

40

20
19
21

Table 1: Demographic and Social Background Characteristics (continued)
FamilY Sbtl!erJ
Tler2
Total
Tier 1

lilllllll Sbii!I!J ·
Men

Women

Total

Hotell
CHil.DIIOOO ExPEAIENCU

On public assistance
sometime during childhood

48

54

53

36

34

36

Ever abused as a chDd

9

21

19

13

31

16

Ever sexually abused as a chad

3

10

9

1

17

4

Ever In foster care

14

9

10

9

17

11

Parent or guardian abused alcohol

13

15

15

18

23

19

Parent or guardian abused drugs

6

7

6

5

6

5

16

19

18

20

24

20

Ever abused by partner

21

24

23

6

45

13

Ever sexually abused by partner

10

7

7

2

21

5

83

94

92

47

50

48

Ever in prison or jal

14

16

15

55

29

51

In prison or jal during the year
before entering shelter

10

7

7

27

20

26

Parent or gU81dlan abc ISed alcohol or drugs
ABUSE BY PARTNER

PUBUC ASSISTANCE
Receives public assistance or
other benefi1s ~
CRIMINAL JUSTICE INVOLVEMENT

Note: Percentages are based on the number ol cases shown at the 1op ol the table unless othefwise specified.
Percentages based on 20 or fewer cases (Indicated by an asterisk) are not reported.

B-6

Homeless History
Table 2 shows the year when shelter residents first became homeless, the housing
conditions they have experienced, and th~ir housing and other circumstances in the year
prior to entry into the shelter system. The findings are highlighted below.
o

Homelessness is a relatively recent condition for families, while for singles it may
have begun many years ago. About two-thirds of the families first became
homeless within the past year, compared to 38% of the single men and women.
Almost 90% of families first became homeless within the past two years,
compar.ed to approximately 50% of singles. One in five (2z>A.) homeless singles
first became homeless 5 or more years ago.

o

A quarter of all families (25%) had ever slept in a street, subway or park and 15%
had stayed in an abandoned building.

o

A much higher percentage of the single population had ever slept in a street,
subway or park (68%) or an abandoned building (35%). Single women were
much less likely than single men to have slept in a street, subway or park (46%
versus 73%) or in an abandoned building (14% versus 40%).

o

About 1 in 7 families (14%) said they had stayed in a street, subway or park
sometime during the year before entering the shelter system, while 8% said they
stayed in an abandoned building. For single residents overall (and particularly
single men), the proportions were much higher: 40% of single residents stayed in
a street, subway or park sometime during the year before entering the shelter
system and 21% had stayed in an abandoned building.

o

Of the families who stayed in a street, subway or park in the year prior to entering
the shelter system, 43% reported having stayed there for a month or more during
that year, and 21% reported staying there for more than 6 months. Similar
lengths of stay were reported for families who stayed in abandoned buildings in
the year prior to shelter system entry.

o

The vast majority of all residents had been doubled up at least once, including
88% of the families and 78% of the singles.

o

More than half of the families were doubled up at some time in the year before
entering the shelter system and 41% said they had their own place at some time
during that year. Single shelter residents were almost as likely (46%) as families
to have been doubled up at least once in the year prior to shelter entry and to
have had their own apartment for some time during that year (38%).

o

A large proportion of families (31%) and singles (27%) never had a house or
apartment of their own at any time in the past.

o

A quarter of single residents sald they were in jall or prison during the year before
entering the shelter system; 7% of family shelter respondents had been in prison
or jall in the year before shelter system entry.

o

Seventeen percent of single shelter residents sald they had been in a drug or
alcohol rehabilitation program in the year before entering the shelter system,
compared to 9% of family residents.

B-7

Table2: Homeless History
F•ml!x Sb!!lm
Tier1
Total
TI«Z
Hotela

Sl!llillt Sbtlll!l '
Men Women
Total

(71)

(430)

(501)

(414)

(85)

(499)

66'!b

17
12
5

68%
22
7
4

67%
21
8
4

38%
12
27
23

41%
17
20

38%
13
27
22

Ever stayed in street, aubway or parlc

34

24

25

73

46

68

Ever stayed in an abandoned building

14

15

15

40

14

35

Ever stayed In someone else's home
or apartment

89

87

88

n

81

78

Ever had own home Of apar1ment

65

70

69

71

82

73

WHEN HOMELESSNESS BEGAN

First became homeless:
Under 1 year ago
1 10 2 years ago
2 to 5 years ago
5 or more years ago

23

HOUSING COHDmOHS ExPE.IIIE.MCED

HOUSING AND OTHE.II CIRCUMSTANCES ExPI!IUE.HCED IN YEAR PRIOR TO SHE.LTE.II SVSTE.M ENTRY

Stayed in street, subway or park in year
prior to entry
Length of time in that year
Less than a week
Between one week and one month
Between one month and six months
Mote than six months
Stayed in an abandoned buUding in year
prior to entry
Length of time in that year
Less than a week
Between one week and one inonth
Between one month and six moe llhs
More than stx months
Uved in someone else's home or apartment
in year prior to entry
Length of time in that year
Less than a week
Between one week and one month
Between one month and six months
More than six months
Uved In own home or apartment in year
prior to entry
Length of time in that year
Less than a week
Between one week and one month
Between one month and six months
More than six months

18

13

14

o43

27

40

(13)

(54)



32
26
22
20

(67)
30
27
22
21

(174)
13
29
30
28

(22)
14
32
27
27

(196)
13
30
30
28

7

9

8

23

8

21

(4)

(35)

(39)
10
36
26

(7)

28

(94)
12
23
33
32


(101)
15
22
33
31

6



37
29
29

61

53

55

46

45

46

{o43)
7
7
42

(264)

44

(221)
5
20
34
42

5
17
36
42

(186)
5
20
34
40

(38)
5
11
37
47

(224)
5
18
35
42

29

o43

41

37

43

38

(20)

(177)
1
2
10

(197)
1
2
11

{150)
0
2
15

(186)
1
2
14

88

87

83

(36)
3
3
11
83



B-8

83

Table2: Homeless History (continued)
Family Shellers
Total
Tier2
Hottll

Tier1

:ilogll:ihtiii!J'
Men

Women

Total

In prison or jam In year
prior to entry

10

7

7

27

20

26

Length of time in that year
Less than a week
Belween one week and one month
Be!Ween one month and six months
More than six months

(7)

(29)

(36)

(109)

(16)



21
10

17

4

11

28

33

12
25

41

39

60



{125)
6
12

7

10

9

17

14

17

(4)

{39)
3
13

(43)

(67)

(11)

(78)

2
12

2
24

33

30
56

34
40

Enrolled In drug or alcohol rehabilitation
program In year prior to entry
Length of time in that year
Less than a week
Between one week and one month
Between one month and six months
More than six months




51




26
56

3
23
33

41

Note: Percentages are based on the number of cases shown at the top of the table unless otherwise specKled.
Percentages based on 20 or 1 -cases (indicated by an asterisk) are not reported.

B-9

Reasons For Becoming Homeless
Shelter residents were asked what they believed was the main reason they were
homeless. The results are shown in Table 3 and highlighted below.
o

For those individuals living in family shelters, money-related difficulties were most
often cited as the main reasons for homelessness. Forty-three percent of family
shelter residents cited a money-related reason, while an additional 22% cited a
housing-related reason. Sixteen percent cited some type of personal situation
problem, 8% cited a drug/ alcohol problem, and 11% cited other reasons.

o

Three specific reasons accounted for over half of the reasons cited for
homelessness among those in family shelters: lack of rent money or eviction
(30%); overcrowding (12%); and family conflict (11%).

o

Single shelter residents differed from family residents in several of the main
reasons cited for becoming homeless. While about the same proportion noted a
money reason (44%), many of the single residents cited lack of employment
(27%) as the specific money reason, as opposed to rent money (11 %) or eviction
(2%).

o

In addition, a much higher proportion of single shelter residents than family
shelter residents cited drugs as the main reason for homelessness (28% versus
8%), while a much lower proportion cited a housing-related problem as the main
reason they were homeless (5% versus 21%).

.

o

The quality of previous housing arrangements was cited more frequently as the
main reason for homelessness for those in family shelters, but was extremely rare
for those living in si.ngle shelters. Overcrowding and unsafe conditions were cited
as the main reasons for leaving the previous living arrangement by 17% of those
living in family shelters, while only 2% of those living in single shelters cited
overcrowding or unsafe conditions as their main reason for becoming homeless.

o

A smaller proportion of the female single shelter residents than male residents
cited employment (14% versus 29%) and drugs (20% versus 31%) as the main
reason they were homeless, while more females cited lack of rent money (21%
versus9%):

B-10

Table 3: Reasons for Homelessness

Family SheHm
ner2 Total
Hotels
ner1

(69)

(416)

(485)

Sinale SheHers
Men Women Total

(402)

(85)

(487)

43%

42%

49%

44%

14
21
2

27

THE MAIN REASONS FOR HOMElESSNESS ACCORDING TO SHELTER RESIDENTS
Money:
Lack of employment
Lack of rent money
Eviction
Breadwinner left/separated
Welfare problem
Robbed
Drugs/alcohol:
Drugs
Alcohol

I

42%

43%

6
28
0

10

9

29

20

9

1
0

10
2
2
0

21
8
3
2
0

2
2
0
0

4

9

8

3

9
0

7

0

11
2
3
1
0

31

20

28

8
0

28
3

20
0

26
2
14

7
5

Personal shuation:

16

15

16

14

13

Family conflict
Illness/injury
JaD/arrest
Physical abuse
Maternity

13
3
0
0
0

11

8
3

0

11
2
0

2

2

1

1

3
0
0

6
6
1
0
0

0
0

23

21

22

4

8

6

13
4
6

12
5
4

12
5

2
4

5

0
4
0

2

1
4
1

14

11

11

10

10

9

3
4

1
4
4

2
5

2

5

4

3

4
0
6

2
4
3

Housing:
Too crowded
Fire
Unsafe housing
Other:
Relocated to city
Social/theological explanation
Miscellaneous

2

7

7
4
3

Note: Percentages are based on the number of cases shown at the top of the table unless otherwise specified.
Percentages based on 20 or fewer cases (Indicated by an asterisk) are not reported.

B-11

Doubling Up
Survey respondents that had been doubled-up were asked the reason why they left the
last residence in which they were doubled-up. The results are shown in Table 4.
Findings are highlighted below.
o

As indicated above, the vast majority of all residents had been doubled-up at least
once, including 88% of the family shelter residents and 78% of the single shelter
residents.

o

Half of the family and single shelter residents were doubled-up in the year prior to
entry.

o

Respondents were asked how long they been doubled-up in that year. About
three-fourths were doubled-up for more than 1 month and 42% for more than 6
months in the year prior to shelter entry. There were no important differences in
the length of being doubled up between family shelter residents and single shelter
residents, or between the men and women at the single shelters.

o

By far, the most frequent reasons cited by families for leaving a doubled-up
situation were overcrowding (47%) and interpersonal conflict (34%). In addition,
14% cited no rent money or evicted as a reason. Compared to family shelter
residents, single shelter residents were more likely to cite no rent (25% versus
14%) and drugs (12% versus 6%) as reasons, and much less likely to cite
overcrowding (19% versus 47%).

o

Male single shelter residents and female single shelter residents cited very similar
reasons for leaving doubled-up situations. However, male single shelter residents
were more likely to indicate that lack of rent money or eviction was a reason for
leaving the doubled-up situation than female single shelter residents.
"'

o

It is important to note that none of the respondents appear to have cited the
desire to secure permanent subsidized housing as a reason for leaving the
doubled-up situation.

_/

------

B-12

\

Table 4: Doubled-up Experience

Ftmi!x Shelters
ner2 Total
Hotels

Tier 1

Ever lived In someone else's home
or apartment
Lived In someone else's home or apartment In
year prior t o shelter system entry
Length of time In other's home in year
prior to shelter system entry.
Less than 1 week
1 week • 1 month
1 ·6months
more than 6 months

Single She!tn
Men
Women
Total

{71)

(430)

(501)

(414)

(a5)

(499)

89%

87%

88%

77'lb

81%

78%

61

54

55

46

45

46

(43)

(221)

(264)

(186)

(38)
5

(224)

20

17

20

18

35

s

s

s

s

7
7
42
44

34

36

42

42

34
40

11
37
47

(63)

(374)

(437)

(318)

(69)

(387)

Mslw

22

12

14

27

15

25

No rent money/evicted
Unemployed

22
0

12

14

0

27
1

15

0

0

25
1

5

7

6

12

13

12

Personal sayat!on

44

34

36

34

42

36

Interpersonal conftid

41

33

34

31

1

1

1
1

0
0

38
0

32

0
0

3

0
0

3

1
1
1
2

Reason tor leaving last doubled up situation
(multiple responses allowed):

Drygs/a!oobol

Sexual abuse
Phy$lcal abuse
Medical reasons

42

0

Jal

0

0
0

Death

2

1

1

1
1
2

Housing

43

50

49

23

26

24

Too crowded
Unsafe housing
Fire

38

48

5

0

3
1

47
3
1

19
3
1

19
4
3

19
3
2

Other reason

16

12

12

13

13

13

Moved

11
2
2
2

7
1
3
1

7
1
3
1

8

12

1
3
1

0

9
1
3
1

Owner moved
Temporary home
Mlscellaneou$

2

Note: Pen:entages are based on the number of cases shown at the top of
Percentages based on 20 or fewer cases [Indicated by an asterislc) are not reported.

B-13

0
0

1

0

the table unless otherwise specified.

own Home or Apartment Experience
Table 5 presents infonnation on respondents who had their own home or apartment in
the past. Findings from Table 5 are highlighted below.
o

Overall, about 30% of the residents of homeless shelters had never lived in their
own home or apartment Women in single shelters were the group most likely to
have ever had their own home or apartment: 82% had done so.

o

Of those who had ever had their own home or apartment, over 20% had had

other people doubled-up with them. Residents of family shelters were slightly
more likely (26%) to have had someone doubled-up with them than residents of
single shelters (21%).

o

The fragility of respondents' previous housing arrangements is further
demonstrated by the fact that only about 40% had lived in their own home or
apartment in the year prior to their entry into the shelter system. This was the
case for residents of family shelters (41%) and residents of single shelters (38%),
and within single shelters, for men and women.

o

Among those who had had their own horne or apartment during the previous
year, about 85% had been in that home for more than six months. Aesictents of
family shelters were slightly more likely (87%) to have spent six months or more in
their own homes than residents of single shelters (83%).

o

A variety of reasons for leaving their apartment were cited by those who had ever
had the1r own home or apartment. The most common reason was laCk of money
for paying the rent. Women in single shelters were more likely to cite this reason
(55%) than other groups.

o

Elements of their personal situation were the second most common reason cited
by the respondents as the reason for leaving their own home or apartment.
Nearly one-quarter of those in single shelters gave this reason, compared with
16% of those in family shelters. The most frequently cited situation within this
category was interpersonal conflict.

o

Characteristics of the housing unit were also frequently cited as the reason for
leaving their own home or apartment. Characteristics of the housing unit were
cited twice as frequently by those in family shelters (26%) as by those in single
shelter (12%). The most frequently cited characteristic was unsafe housing. This
reason was given by 16% of those in family shelters and 13% of the women in
single shelters. Fire was the reason given most frequently (8%) by men in single

shelters.

o

Drugs or alcohol were cited by about 10% of the shelter respondents as the
reason for leaving their own home or apartment Women in single shelters were
less likely to give this response (3%) than other groups.

o

A variety of other factors were cited by small percentages of those in homeless
shelters as the reason why they left their own home or apartment. In this residual
category, 'moving' was the most common reason given (11% for families, 10% for
singles). The meaning of this response is not readily apparent.

B-14

Table 5: Own Home or Apartment Experience
Fam!Jv Shelters
ner1
Total
ner2

Sinole Sheltert •
Men Women
Total

Hote'(71)

(430)

(501)

(414)

(85)

(499)

65%

70%

69%

71%

82%

73%

(46)
20

(299)

(345)

(295)

(69)

24

26

19

26

(364)
21

29

43

41

37

43

38

Length al tme in own home or apartment
In year prior to shelter system enlly:
Less than 1 week
1 week. 1 month
1 · 6 months
more than 6 months

(20)
0
0
20
80

(177)
1
2
10

(150)
0
2
15
83

(36)

88

(197)
1
2
11
87

3
3
11
83

(186)
1
2
14
83

Reason for leaving aNn home or apartment
(nU!Iple responses aftowed):

(46)

(299)

(345)

(295)

(69)

(364)

~

;rr

~

~

~

~

!Z

No rent money/evicted
Unemployed

38
4

45
4

44
4

41
12

57
0

44
10

~

1Q

1Q

.1.2

a

ll

Personal s~vatjon

ll

23

2!1

2!

Interpersonal conftict
Sexual abuse
Physical abuse
Medical reasons

22

2
2
2
2
0

9
0
2
2
1
0

11
0
2
2
1
0

14
0
1
1
6
1

18
0
5
6
2
0

15
0
1
2
6
1

Housing

~

21

2!1

.1.2

.1.2

Too crowded
Unsafe housing
Fke

0
11
11

3
17
7

3
16
8

1
3
8

0
13
3

1
5
7

Other reason

1Z

.1.2

~

u

~

l2

Moved
Owner moved
Temporary home
Miscellaneous

18
0
0
0

10
1
0
1

11
1
0

11
1
0
1

8
0
0
2

10
1
0
1

Ever lived in aNn home or apartment

Of those who fMlf hid own home or
apartment, % who had others
doubled up with them
Uved In own home or apartment In year
prior to shelter system entry

Oruqs/a!coho!

Jai
Death

Noce: Percentages are based on the number al cases $hown at the top al the table unless otherwise specified.
Percentages based on 20 or fewer cases Qndicated by an asterisk) are not reponed.

B-15

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

A number of questions examined the level of alcohol and drug abuse in the shelter
population (see Table 6). The results are based on self reports rather than actual drug
or alcohol tests. lhe primary findings are highlighted below.
o

There were substantial differences in reported drug use between those living in
single shelters and those living in family shelters. While 48% of those living in
single shelters said they used drugs in the past year, only 18% of those living in
family shelters reported using drugs in the past year.

o

Almost one-third of the single shelter residents reported using drugs at least once
a month, but only 10% of the family shelter residents reported that degree of drug
usage.

o

In single shelters, men reported more substantial drug usage than the females.
Thirty-seven percent of the males living in single shelters reported using drugs at
least once a month, in contrast to 14% of the women living in single shelters.

o

The vast majority of those that use drugs at least once a month would be willing to
participate in a drug rehabilitation program. About 85% of those livinQ in family
shelters and 85% of those living in sinQie shelters that have used drugs 1n the last
month indicated that they would partiapate in a drug rehabilitation program.

o

Few shelter residents said that they drink every day. But over a third of residents
at the male shelters and 17% of residents at the female shelters said they would
be willing to enter an alcohol rehabilitation program if one were available. Fewer
family shelter residents (22%) than single shelter residents (36%) said they would
be Willing to participate in an alcohol rehabilitation program.

o

Twenty-five percent of the family shelter residents and 48% of the single shelter
residents indicated that they would be willing to enter either a drug or alcohol
rehabilitation program.

B-16

··

Table 6: Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Family Shelters
Tlw2
Total
Hottle

Tier 1

Single Shelters
Men Women Total

(71)

{430)

{501)

(414)

{85)

(499)

Drinks alcohol every day

1'1(,

4'1(,

3'1(,

13'1(,

3%

11 '1(,

Willing to participate In aloohol
rehabilitallon progtam

17

23

22

39

17

36

17

18

18

51

33

Uses drugs fiNery day

3

3

3

11

7

10

Uses drugs fN8rY week

4

3

3

15

6

13

Uses drugs fiNery month

1

s

4

11

Total using drugs at
least once a month

8

11

10

37

14

32

Willing to participate In drug
rehabilitation program

7

11

11

37

20

34

10

13

13

43

20

39

(6)

(43)
86

(49)
84

(137)

(12)

85

(149)
86

14

24

23

39

34

38

Participated In either an alcohol or drug
rehabilitation program during the
year before entering shelttf

6

13

12

20

20

20

WUIIng to participate in ellher an alcohol
or drug rehabilitation program

21

26

25

53

25

48

ALCOHOL ABUSE

0RUGA8u$£

Used drugs in past year
Frequency of drug use:

Uses drugs at least once a month or
wiling to partlclpate In drug
rehabiilation program
Among those who use drugs once a month,
percent who woUd be Willing to use
drug rehabilitation program

9

ALCOHOL OR D RUG AaUU

Ever particjpaled In ellher an alcohol
or drug rehabilitation program

Note: Peroentages are based on the number of cases shown at the top of the table unless otherwise specified.
Perctn1ages based on 20 or fewer cases (Indicated by an asterisk) are not reported.

B-17

Health, Mental Health and Employment

Table 7 presents information on the health, mental health, and employment histories of
residents of homeless shelters. The findings from Table 7 are highlighted below.
Health and Mental Health
o

Poor health is a serious problem for a large proportion of the residents of both
family and single shelters. For example, 21% of both family shelter and single
shelter residents reported a serious or chronic health problem. About a quarter of
both family shelter and single shelter residents reported having been hospitalized
in the past two years.

o

Most shelter residents report at least some minimal utilization of medical care.
Neai1y 90% of family .shelter residents and 83% of single shelter residents said
they had visited the doctor during the past two years.

o

A sizable proportion of family and single shelter residents report receiving
treatment for mental health problems. Ten percent of family shelter residents and
12% of single shelter residents say they had been hospitalized for a mental or
emotional problem. About 1 in 5 residents of family and single shelters say they
were either hospitalized, treated at a clinic, or took prescription medication for an
emotional or mental problem.

o

Women in single shelters report much higher rates of health problems and health
care utilization than other shelter residents. Forty one percent said they had a
serious or chronic health problem, 38% had been hospitalized in the last two
years, and 20% had been treated at a clinic, hospitalized, or taken prescription
medication for a mental or emotional problem.

Employment
o

Single shelter residents are more likely to be working .(16%) than family ~helter
residents (7%). Approximately half of those employed are working full-time.

o

About a third (32%) of family shelter residents have worked in the last year, and
72% have been employed in the last three years. Single shelter residents are
more likely to have recent labor force attachment than residents of family shelters:
55% report working during the last year compared with 32% of family shelter
residents.

o

About a third (35%) of family shelter residents and about a quarter (24%) of single
shelter residents have neither a high school education nor recent labor market
experience.

o

Of those who were not currently working, but who had worked during the past
year, only 20% of family shelter residents and 18% of single shelter residents
received unemployment benefits.
·

2The rate of employment may be over-estimated, partic1Aar1y for women In the single shelters. An
employment shelter was 1 of only 2 shelters chosen for survey participation among the shelters for single
women; and an employment shelter was the only type of specialized shelter chosen for survey participation
among the shelters for single men.

B-18

Table 7: Health, Mental Health and Employment
Ftmltx Shtttm
Tier 1
Tler2
Totlll
Hotels

Slnalt Shelters •
Men Women
Totlll

(71)

(430)

(501)

(414)

(85)

(499)

16%

22%

21%

17%

41%

21%

Was hospitalized In last 2 years

23

26

26

28

38

29

Has visited dOdor In lasl2 years

85

91

90

80

95

83

11

15

15

15

37

18

9

10

10

9

27

12

Ever taken prescriplion medication
for mental or emolional problems

13

11

11

10

26

13

E~hef treated at clinic, treated at hospital
or took prescription medication

16

19

19

18

42

22

Employed now

7

8

7

15

23

16

Employed lui-time

4

4

4

8

12

9

Employed now or In last year
(recent labor force atlachmenl)

33

32

32

56

52

55

Employed now or In last3 years

70

72

72

81

75

80

Has never been employed

14

17

17

8

14

9

(18)

(100)
20

(118)
20

(157)
18

(24)
17

(181)
18

41

46

45

42

28

40

33

35

35

25

18

24

HEALTH
Has a chronic or serious health problem

M!NTAL HEALTH
Ever treated at clinic for mental
or emotional problems
Ever been hospitalized for mental
or emotional problems

EMPLO'IMEHT

Of those not employed now, but worked In
last year, 'll. who received unemployment
benefits In last year
Completed tess than 12th grade

No recent labor force mtadvnenl
and less than 12th grade

Note: Percentages are based on the number ol cases shown at the top ol the tabla unless otherwise specified.
Percentages based on 20 or fewer cases Qndlcated by an asterisk) are not reported.

B-19

Financial Eligibility and Service Need Analysis
To facilitate service planning, we examined which respondents had various cOmbinations
of problems. For this purpose, we used the most inclusive definitions of possible mental
Illness and drug abuse, as defined in the previous sections. We also examined whether
some shelter residents might have resources that could make them unqualified for
shelter assistance If income requirements are established. The findings are shown in
Table 8 and are highlighted below.
Seryice Neects

o

Almost a third (30%) of the family shelter residents and sr~ghtly more than half
(53%) of the single shelter residents had indications of either a drug or mental
illness problem.

o

Those with either a mental illness or substance abuse problem were no more
likely to have employability problems than the general shelter population.

o

Two percent of the family residents and 9% of the single residents showed
indications of both a mental illness and drug problem, according to the survey
responses.

o

Twenty-three percent of the family shelter residents and 12% of the single shelter
residents had employability problems and no indications of mental illness or drug
abuse.

o

While female single shelter residents were more likely to have indications of
mental illness than male single shelter residents, and maJe single shelter residents
were more likely to have indications of dnJQ abuse, there were no important
differences between the groups in the proportion that had either one or the other
problem. There was also no difference between the two groups in those who had
an employability problem and no indications of mental illness or drug abuse, or
the proportion of those with a mental illness or drug abuse problem that also had
employability problems.

o

As noted above, large proportions of the family and single shelter population
never lived in their own home or apartment (31% and 27%, respectiVely), and
therefore may have a problem with Independent living.

o

Thirty-four percent of family shelter residents and 28% of si~le shelter residents
had none of the problems disCIISse-j above: i.e., no indications of drug abuse,
mental illness, or independent living problems, and no employability problem, as

defined.
Financial E!igib!ljty
o

Few shelter residents would be ineligible for shelter assistance If an income
eligibility cutoff was established. Only 30% of shelter residents are not receiving
public assistance or other benefits now. Only 2% of family shelter residents and
11% of single shelter residents are working and not receiving public assistance
and other benefits.3

3As noted above, the propor1lon who are woridng may be an over-estimate.

B-20

TableS: Service Need and Financial 8igibility Analysis
Family Sbtltert
nerz Total

ner1

Sjna!e Shti!11J '
Women Toll!!

Mtn

Hotels

(71)

(430)

(501)

(414)

(85)

(499)

10%

13%

13%

43'1(,

20%

39%

Mental or emotional problem:
Ever hospilalb:ed, 1reatec1 ar a
clinic, Of took prescription
medication for mental/emotional
problems

16

19

19

18

42

22

Drug abuse lll: mental/emotional
problem

26

31

30

53

51

53

Drug abuse A!!!i mental emotional
problem

0

2

2

8

11

9

EmployabDity problem:
No recent labor force anachtnert
(have not worked In past year) m1
completed less than 12th grade

33

35

35

25

18

24

Employabilty problem m1 no drug abuse
or mental/emotional problems

19

24

23

13

8

12

(17)

(126)
38

(143)
39

(198)
24

(40)

*

20

{238)
23

Never 1iv8d In own home or apartment

35

30

31

29

18

27

Ne~herdrug abuse, mtnlal/emotlonal,
employabUity or Independent IMng
problem

40

32

34

26

37

28

t7

6

8

53

50

52

4

1

2

11

13

11

0RUGA8uSEAHO
MEHTAL/EMOTIOIW. PA08LEM
Drug abuse problem:
Uses drugs at least once a month
or willing to partclpate In a
drug rehabilitation program

EMPLOYABIUTY PROBLEM

Among those wtth drug abuse or
mental/emotional problem,
percentage with employabilty problem
INDU£MDEHT lJwiG PR08LEM

FINANCIAL EUGIIIIUTY
NOI currently I9CeMng public
assistance or other benefits
Worldng and not reoeMng public
assistance or other benefits

NOie: Percentages are based on the number ol cases shown at the top ol the table unless otherwise specified.
Percentages based on 20 or fewer cases (Indicated by an asterisl<) are not reponed.

B-21

QUESTIONNAIRE:
[Read] We are taking a survey of people in shelters. r don't want
to know your name because some of the questions r am going to ask
are very personal. Your answers are completely confidential.
Q.l

When did you first become homeless? [Year] _____

Q.2A.

Have you ever stayed in the street, subway or park?
Y_(l)

1

N _ [GO TO Q.3AJ (2)
2

Q. 2B.

What about the year before you entered the shelter
system, did you ever stay in the street, subway or
park, then?
-No_(l) [Sta:P TO Q.3A]
-Yes___ (2)

Q.2C.

3

Which of the following best describes how long you
stayed there in that year? [READ)
-less than one week___ (3)
-between one week and one month___ (4)
-between one month and six months___ (S)
-more than six months___ (6)
4

Q.3A.

Have you
Y_(l)

~

stayed in an abandoned building?
N_ (GO TO Q.4A](2)
5

Q.3B.

What about the year before you entered the shelter
system, did you ever stay in an abandoned
building, then?
-No_(l) (SKIP TO Q.4A]
-Yes_(2)

Q.3C.

6

Which of the following best describes how long you
stayed there in that year? [READ]
-less than one week

(3)

-between one week and one month___ (4)
-between one month and six months___ (S)
-more than six montbs___ (6)

8·22

7

Have you ever stayed in a prison or jail?

Q.4A.

Y_(l)

N

[GO TO Q.5A](2)
8

Q.4B.

What about the year before you entered the shelter
system, did you ever stay in a prison or jail
then?
-No_(l) [SKIP TO Q.SA]
-Yes__ (2)

Q.4C.

9

Which of the following best describes how long you
stayed there in that year? [READ]
-less than one week___ (3)
-between one week and one month__ (4)
-between one month and six months

(5)

-more than six months___ (6)
10

Q.SA.

Have you ever been in a drug/alcohol rehab program?

Y_(l)

N _ [GO TO Q.6A] (2)

11

Q.SB What about the year before you entered the shelter
system, were you in a rehab program then?
-No_(l) [SKIP TO Q. 6A]
- Yes__ (2)
Q.SC.

12

Which of the following best describes how long you
stayed there in that year? [READ]
-less than one week

(3)

-between one week and one month__ (4)
-between one month and six months___ (5)
-more than six months

8·23

(6)

13

Have you ever stayed in someone elses home or
apartment?

Q.6A.

N_ [GO TO Q.7A](2)

'i_(1)

Q.6B.

Q.6C.

Q.6D

How many different homes of friends or
relatives did you stay at during the year
before entering the shelter system?___

15

The last time that you stayed at the home of
a friend or a relative, why did you leave?
[Check all that apply]
[Do Not Read]
-too crowded___
16
-interpersonal conflict___

17

-sexual abuse_

18

-physical abuse___

19

-drugjalchohol related problem___

20

-fire_

21

-unsafe/condemned building___

22

-no rent moneyjevicted___

23

-some other reason[specify]

24

What about the year before you entered the shelter
system, did you double up then?
-No_(1) [SlaP TO
-Yes

Q.6E.

14

Q. 7A]

(2)

25

Which of the following best describes how long you
stayed there in that year? [READ]
-less than one week

(3)

-between one week and one month___ (4)
-between one month and six months___ ( 5)
-more than six months___ (6)

B-24

26

Have you ever had your own house or apartment?

Q.7A.

N_ [GO TO Q.S] (2)

Y_(l)
Q. 7B.

Q. 7C.

27

Why did you leave? [Check all that apply]
[Do Not Read]
-too crowded___
28
-interpersonal conflict___

29

-sexual abuse___

30

-physical abuse___

31

-drugjalchohol problem_

32

-tire_

33

- unsafe/condemned building___

34

-no rent moneyjevicted___

35

-other (specify] ________________

36

What about tbe year before you entered the shelter
system, did you have your own p l ace then?
-No_(l) [SKIP TO Q.S]
37

-Yes_(2)
Q.70.

Which of the following best describes how long you
stayed there in that year? [READ]

-less than one wee k

(3)

-between one week and one month___ (4)
-between one month and six months___ (S)
-more than six months___ (6)
Q.7E.

38

Were other families or f r iends doubled up with you
in your apartment?
Y_(l)

N

(2)

39

8·25

Q. 8.

What would you say is the main reason you became homeless·?

40

Q.9A.

Where did you grow up?

[READ]

NYC_(l)
NYS outside NYc___ (2)
us outside NYS___ (3)
outside the us___ (4)
other___ ( 5)
Q.lOA.

41

Bow old were you when you left home?

(Do

Not Read]

Under 10_(1)
10 to 15 yrs old___ (2)
15 to 20 yrs old___ (3)

OVer 20___ (4)
other [EXPLAIN] ___________________________________
Q.ll.

42

When you were growing up, did both your parents live
with you?
Y_[GO TO Q . l2]
N_[GO TO Q.l3 ]
Part of the time_[GO TO Q.13]

Q.l2.

[Yes] The entire time you were growing up?
Y_(l) [SKIP TO Q.l4]

Q . 13.

43

N_(2)

44

[No/Part of the time] Who did you live with when it
wasn't both your parents?
Father___ (l)
Mother___ ( 2)
Other arrangement/ Another person___ (3)

B-26

45

Q.l4.

Were you ever in foster care?

Y_(l)

46

N_(2)

Did the person you lived with when you were growing up
ever need to receive public assistance?

Q.15.

Yes_

Q.16.

_ (l)

No _

Don't Know__ (9)

_ (2)

47

Did the person you liv ed with abuse alchohol?

Y_(l)

48

N_(2)

Did the person you lived with abuse drugs?

Q.17.

Y_(l)

49

N_(2)

Do many people at this facility abuse drugs?

Q.l8.

Y(l)_
Q.l9A

50

N(2) _

And you, have you tried drugs in the last year?

Y(l) _
Q.l9B.

N(2) _

51

[SKIP TO Q.20A)

When d i d you last use drugs?

[Read)

within 24 hours__ (l)
within 48 hours_ _ (2)
within 1 week

(3)

within 1 month__ (4)
more than a month ago__ (5)

52

I quit_(6) [ASK) When? _

53

Q.l9C.

_ [GO TO Q.20A) (7)

Row often would you say you use them? (Read)

every day_(l)
every week__ (2)
every month__ (J)
less than every month__ (4)
neverjquit__ (5) (GO TO Q.20A)

8·27

54

Q.19D.

WouJ.d you take advantage of a program to cut down
on drugs if i t were available?
Y_(1)

Q.20A.

N

(2)

55

Do you ever drink alcohol?
N

Y_(1)

Q.20B.

56

(2)[GO TO Q.21A]

When did you last have alcohol? [Read]

within 24 hours__ (1)
within 48 hours__ (2)
within 1 week___ (3)
within 1 month__ (4)
more than a month ago___ (5)
I

Q.20C.

quit_(6) [ASK] When?_ _ _ [GO TO Q.21A] (7)

57

58

How often would you say you have a drink? (Read]

every day__ (l)
every week

(2)

every month__ (3)
less than every month___ (4)
neverjquit_(5) (GO TO Q.21A]
Q. 20D.

Would you take advantage of a program to cut down
on drinking i t it were available?
Y_(1)

Q.21A.

59

N_(2)

60

Were you ever abused as a child?
Y_(l)

Q.21B.

N_(2) [GO TO Q.22A]

61

was i t sexual abuse?

Y_(l)

N_(2)

B·28

62

Were you ever abused by a partner?

Q.22.

Y_(1)

Q.22A.
y

Q.23 .

Was it sexual abuse?
(1)

(1)

N

(2)

66

N_(2)

67

N_(2)

68

Have you seen a doctor in the last two years?
Y_(l)

Q.28.

65

Do you have a serious or chronic health problems?
Y_(l)

Q.27.

N_(2)

Have you ever taken prescription medicati on tor
treatment of a mental or emotional problems?
y

Q.26.

64

Have you ever been hospitalized for mental or emotional
problems?
Y_(1)

Q.25.

N_(2)

Have you ever been treated at a clinic for mental or
emotional problems?
Y_(1)

Q.24.

63

N_(2) [GO TO Q.23J

N_(2)

69

Have you been hospitalized tor a health problem in the
past 2 years?
Y_(l)

N_(2)

70

Just a few more questions now ...
Q.29.

Have you ever been employed?
Y_(l)

Q.30A.

N_(2) [SKIP TO Q.33A,Page 10)

71

Do you have a job now?
Y_(l)

N_ [GO TO Q.31J (2)

B-29

72

Q.JOB.
Q.JOC.

What do you do?_______________
:Is the work

fuJ.l time_(1)
part time__ (2)
just once in a while__ (3)
something else(EXPLA:INJ

(4)

Q.300. How much money do you earn?
per_ __
(:Is that per hour? per day? or per month? specify]
{SKIP TO Q.34, next page]

74

75

Have you worked in the last year?

Q. 31.

(2)

76

When did you last have a job? {mojyr]_l_

77

Y_(1)

Q.32A.

Q.J2B.

N

Regarding your last job, was it [READ]

full time__ ( 1)
part time__ (2)
just once in a while

(3)

something else (EXPLA:IN] _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (4)

78

Q.J20.

Bow much money did you earn at your last job?
__ per __
(Is that per !lour? per day? or per
79
month? specify]
Why did you leave? ____________________ ___
80

Q.32E.

Did you receive unemployment benefits?

Q.J2C.

y

(1)

N_(2)

B-30

81

Q.JJA.

Are you looking for work now?

Q.33B.

82

N_(2)

Y_(l) [GO TO Q.34]

If not looking for work, why not? [DON'T READ,
CHECK ALL THAT APPLY]

Q.34.

no jobs available___

83

need more skillsjnot prepared___

84

tired of looking___

85

taking care of children___

86

rehab program_

87

training; school ___

88

disabled/injured/handicapped___

89

othe r

90

Do you receive public assistance or other benefits now?
Y_(l)

Q.JS

(specify) _______________________

N_(2)

91

Bave any of your benefits been cut or reduced recently?
Y_(l)

N_(2)

92

Q.36

Now just some basic information: How old are you?___ 93

Q. 37 .

In school what was the last grade that you
[DO NOT READ]
Eigth grade
8-11

completed?

(1)

grade_(2)

High school grade___ (3)
GED_(4)

Technical/Vocation al

(4 )

some college___ (S)
college grad or more___ (6)

B-31

94

For

Q.38.

F~y

Survey Only

Would you describe yourselr as ••. ?
(READ, CHECK ALL THAT APPLY]

single_p)
married_(2)
living with someone___ (J)
divorced___ (4)
separated___ (S)
widowed
(6)
other(speciry) _____________________
Q.39

96

Do you have children?
N_(2) (SlaP TO Q.44]

Y_(l)

many

95

you have?_______

Q.40

Bo~

Q.41

Bow old is your oldest child?_ _

98

Q.42

Bow old is your youngest child? ____

99

Q.43

Do all your children live with you?

~o

Y_(1)

Q.44

97

100

N_(2)

Would you say you are •.• (READ) _ _ _ _ _?
White _ ( 1 )

Black_(2)

Bispanic___ (J)

Native American_(4)

Asian_(S)

Other

(5)

101

Thank you ror your help

Gender: Male ___ (1)

Female

TIME :

DATE:

103

rNTERVrEWER:

ENGLISH/SPANISH

104

(2)

102

lOS

FAMILIES LOCATION:

B-32

For Single Survey Only

Q.Ja.

Would you describe yourself as .•• ?
[READ, c:m:c:K ALL THAT APPLY]
single__ (l)
married_(2)
living with someone___ (3)
divorced___ (4)
separated___ ( 5)
widowed__ (6)
other(specify) _______________________

Q.39

95
96

Do you have children?

N_(2) [SJcrP TO 44]

Y_(l)
Q.40

Bow many do you have?______

97

Q.41

Bow old is your

98

Q.42

Bow old is your youngest child? ____

Q.43

Where do they live?

child?____

o~dest

99

another parent?____ (1)
a grandparent_(2)
another relative?___ (3)
in foster care?___ (4)
other(specify) ____________________ (5)
Q.44

100

Would you say you are ••• [READ] _________ ?
White

Black_(2)

(1)

Native American___ (4)

Bispanic__ (3)

ASian_(S)
other_(S)
Thank you for your help
Gender: Male _(1)
Female
(2)

TIME:

DATE:

IN1'£RVIEWER:

ENGLISH/ SPANISH

SINGLES LOCATION:

8·33

101
102

103
104
105

Appendix C
Drug Testing Methodology and Results

Drug Testing Methodology and Results
Urine samples were collected over a three week period from over
1,000 adults at 1 5 different shelters.

There were 495 samples collected

from adults at family shelters and 525 samples collected at shelters for
single individuals.

Residents were tolo about the urinalysis in English and in Spanish.
They were informed that their participation in the testing was entirely
voluntary and anonymous, and that the urine would be tested for drugs and
alcohol. No compensation was offered.

The Commission's representatives and Brookdale Hospital Medical
Center technicians were allowed admission to the shelters after promising
shelter managers anonymity for both residents and sites as a condition of
participation.

Cooperation of shelter management proved to be the key to

successful sample collection.

The results of the Commission's testing effort generally are c onsistent
with anecdotal evidence regarding drug use in the shelter system.

The

numbers are, however, significantly higher than those produced by selfreporting studies.

With regard to families, the percentage testing positive in Tier II
facilities was 26%.

The percentage testing positive in non-Tier II facilities

was 34 %.

C-1

The difference in the singles shelter system was more dramatic.

The

test results ranged from 39% testing positive in the specialized shelters to
80% testing positive in the general population City operated shelters.

The

samples

were

tested

for

amphetamines,

tetrahydrocannabinol, phencyclidine and alcohol.

cocaine,

opiates,

Cocaine was present in

75% of all of those who tested positive-- 55% of those who tested positive
in the family shelters and 83% of those who tested positive in the singles
shelters.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana) metabolites were present in

approximately one third of those who tested positive and alcohol in 11.5%.
Amphetamines were present in fewer than 5% of those who tested positive,
as were opiates, and no phencyclidine (PCP) was detected at all.

The urinalysis results seem to confirm testimony to the Commission
that smaller, program-oriented facilities are preferable to large, general
population shelters.

The smaller, program-oriented facilities may be more

conducive to the maintenance of sobriety because they provide more social
services than are available on the "drill floors" and at other unstructured
facilities.

C-2

Commission Drug Testing Result s
Number of
Positive Results

N umber of

Percentage

Tests

Testing Positive

Tier It

27%

331

Non ·Tiorll

34%
29%

164

495

39%
63%
80%

184
32
309

Total f amities
Speelallz.cl
Assessment

Gtne<el
Total Singles

65%

C·3

s2s

88
56
144
72
20
248
340

-

THE BROOKDALE HOSPITAL MED ICAL CENTER
Linde n Boulevard at Bro~kdale Plaza

e

Brooklyn, New York 11212-3198

un ,v• rs•ty ot N• w

(7 18) 240-628 1

Dc paruncnt of Clinical Laboratories
(718) 240·5531

Afl,lfatetJ w 1t h
Stiff

e

Yon~:

He• trn Sc tl'nce Center ar Stooitrlyn
and fv f * Yor• Untve r slty
Couege o l Oenustry

TO :

DATE :

COMMISSION ON THE HOMELESS

January 27, 1992

FROM : Dr . Herbert L . Elliott, M. D.
Director of Clinical Laboratories
RE:

Urine Testing Methodology

At the request of the "Commission of the Homeless" during the past three
weeks members of the staff at Brookdale Hospital have worked to deliver over
1,000 urine samples from homeless adults in the New York City shelter system
to a licensed toxicology laboratory for analysis.
Over a three week period
the staff visited 15 shelters and received 496 samples from individuals in
family shelters and 529 from individuals in single shelters.
Those who
submitted samples did so voluntarily and anonymously.
In order to preserve
confidentiality each urine sample was identified only by a number which wa3
placed on the container at the shelter.
Each urine sample was screened for the presence of the six substances by
enzyme immunoassay (EMIT) by Clin PathjTox Laboratories, licensed by the City
of New York, and reported as positive if a concentration equal to or greater
than the "detection limit" was present .
Of the 1, 020 samples 47% testej
positive for at least one of the drugs listed below.
The detection limits
were as follows:
Amphetamines
300 ng/ml
300 ng/ml
Cocaine Metabolite (Benzoylecgonine)
Opiates (as morphine)
300 ng/ml
20 ngjml
Marijuana (the)
75 ngjml
Phencyclidine (pep)
Alcohol ·
0.4%
Test results from the family shelter samples showed that:
Of the 4 95 samples 136 (29%) tested positive.
23 (17%) tested positive for more than one drug .
The percentage for each drug was as follows:
Crack/cocaine (55%); THC (38%); Alcohol (12%) ; etc.
Test results from the single shelter samples showed that:
Of the 525 samples 342 (65% ) tested positive.
100 (29%) tested positive ror more than one drug .
The percentage fo~ each drug was as follows:
Crack/Cocaine (83%); THC (30%); Alcohol (11%); etc .

C-4

A voluntary non-profit reaching hospital marking more than 65 years ofprogress in health care.

Appendix D
Model Regulations for Transitional Residences

PROPOSED OUTLINE
REGULATIONS GOVERNING TRANSITIONAL RESIDENCES
1.

BACKGROUND AND INTENT

These regulations describe the program standards for the
operation of a Transitional Residences (T.Rs)
The goal of a TR is to provide transitional residential and
rehabilitative services for persons who are homeless and have
a primary diagnosis of serious mental illness.
TRs provide time limited, goal oriented rehabilitation
interventions which are intended to increase functioning of
persons with serious mental illness and address problems
which interfere with the individual's ability to gain access
to permanent housing
2•

APPLICABILITY

Applies to any facility proposing to operate a Transitional
Residence which:

3.

(a)

shelters no more than 50 persons who are homeless and
mentally ill

(b)

are operated by a sub-division of local government or a
private non-profit provider under contract with local
government

(c)

Provides transitional services for not more than six
months except as described in this part

LEGAL BASE

Article 7 Social Services Law
Article 31 Mental Hygiene Law
NOTE: MOST DETERMINE :IF PROGRAM li:ILL
(SHELTER) OMll (PROGRAM) . OR JOINTLY
4•

DEFINITIONS

Seriously and Persistently Mentally Ill
Homeless
Permanent Supported Housing
NOTE: OTHER DEFINITIONS TO BE IDENTIFIED

0 -1

BE

LICENSED

BY

DSS

5.

ORGANIZATION AND
(1)

The not-for-profits provider of service shall identify a
governing body which shall have overall responsibility
for the operation of the program. The governing body may
delegate responsibility for the day-to-day management of
the program to appropriate staff pursuant to an approved
organizational plan. No individual shall serve as both
a member of the governing body and of the paid staff of
the program without prior approval of the Office of
Mental Health.

NOTE:

FOR

GOVE~NG

(2)

ADMI~STRATION

PUBLieLY OPERATED
BODY STRUCTURE

PROGRAMS

NEED

TO

DETERMINE

The governing body shall be responsible for the following
duties:
to meet at least four times a year;
to review, approve
meetings;

and maintain minutes of · all official

to develop an organizational plan which indicates lines
of accountability and the qualifications required for
staff positions. Such plan may include the delegation of
the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the
program to a designated professional who is qualified by
training and experience to supervise;
to develop an operational plan which indicates the
operator of program, location of program, financial
resources and sources of revenue and other requested
financial reports, program policies and procedures,
staffing plans, agreements with other service providers
and any other information that the Departments deem
necessary;
to review the program • s compliance with the terms and
conditions of its operating certificate, applicable laws
and regulations;
to ensure that the design and operation of the program is
consistent with and appropriate to the ethnic and
cultural background of the resident population;
to ensure that, a resident has a mechanism
participating in service planning decisions;

for

to develop, approve, and periodically review and revise
as appropriate all programmatic and administrative
policies and procedures .
Such policies and procedures

D-2

shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
Written
personnel
policies
which
shall
prohibit
discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed,
disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age
or national origin.
Written policies and procedures on personnel, volunteer,
affirmative action, medication administration, resident
records, admission, termination and exit, incident and
grievance .
(3)

A provider or service shall ensure the timely reporting,
investigation, review, monitoring and documentation of
incidents.

( 4) . A provider of service shall ensure that no otherwise
appropriate resident is denied access to service solely
on the basis of multiple diagnoses, a diagnosis of HIV
infection, AIDS, or AIDS-related complex, pregnancy, or
solely because the individual has any past involvement
with substance abuse or the criminal justice ·system .

6.

( 5)

There shall be an emergency evacuation plan and staff
shall be knowledgeable about its procedures.

(6)

In programs which are not operated by local government,
there shall be an annual audit, pursuant to a format
prescribed by the licensing authority of the financial
condition and accounts of the program performed by a
certified public accountant who is not a member of the
governing body or an employee
of the program.
Government-operated programs shall comply with applicable
laws concerning financial
accounts and auditing
requirements .

(7)

The provider of service shall establish mechanisms which
ensure that the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of
residents are taken into account such as participation of
ethnic consumers, ethnic representation on the staff and
governing body, and inclusion of ethnic appropriate
content in service programs.

( 8)

The provider of service shall provide for the fair
compens.a tion of residents who are employed by the
provider.
Such employment must meet all applicable
requirements of Federal and State labor laws.

CERTIFICATION
(1)

A TR program may be operated under voluntary or public
auspice.

D-3

(2)

Transitional Residences must be operated pursuant to an
operational plan approved jointly By State DSS, and State
OMH and local governmental entity.
A separate
operational plan must be developed for each TR for which
the district seeks reimbursement.

(3)

Bed capacity shall riot exceed SO.

(4)

New or renewal applications for operating certificates
must be submitted to the office on required forms in
accordance with instructions issued by the licensing
agency.
~e application shall include a
functional
program which
describes
in detail
the
required
information as prescribed by the Departments.

(5)

An

( 6)

The current operating certificate shall be
anyone requesting to see it.

(7)

The certified capacity of the TR shall not be exceeded at
any time.

(B)

All operating certificates shall remain the property of
the Departments, and expired, invalidated, revoked or
terminated certificates shall be returned to the
Departments.

operating certificate, valid for a period not to
exceed three years will be issued to a TR.
shown to

NOR: MUST DE1'ERMl:NE WHO WILL BE THE LICENSING AO'rHORl:TY
(DSS, OMH or BOTH)

(9)

The certificate holder shall obtain prior approval by the
office to:
,.
Change the address or physical location of the facility,
or utilize additional physical location or premises or
parts of premises .
Change the duties, qualifications, number and types of
staff.
·
Initiate major changes in the program including but not
limited to changes in the criteria for admission or
discharge of residents, or changes in the target
population.
Change the powers or purposes set forth in any
certificate of incorporation or partnership agreement .
Change the resident capacity of the program.

0-4

Change the type of residence operated.
Purchase, change ownership, or significantly renovate the
physical location or premises of the program, or
Initiate alterations in a manner which affects or could
affect the usability of any part of the facility by
persons with physical disabilities.
(10) The governing body of the program shall ensure that
program development is in accordance with the local
governmental . plan and the licensing Departments.
(11) Suspension, revocation of limitation of the operating
certificate.
The commissioners may revoke, suspend or limit the
operating certificate upon a finding that th~ program has
failed to comply with the terms of any operating
certificate or with the provisions of any applicable
statue, rule or regulation. The certificate holder shall
be given notice and an opportunity to be heard to any
such action.
Pending a determination pursuant to the above situation,
the commissioners may, upon written notice to the
certificate holder, suspend the certificate for not more
than 30 days upon their finding that the continued
operation of the program presents an immediate danger to
the health and welfare of any of the persons residing
therein.
·
(12) The certificate holder shall notify the Departments of
any intention to terminate voluntarily the operation of
the program.
This notice of intention to terminate voluntarily shall
include a statement of the actions which will be taken to
assure appropriate referral or persons in residence,
preserve the confidentiality of records and to settle
financial accounts according to pre-existing individual_
agreements.
This notice shall be submitted at least 90 days prior to
termination of operation.
( 13) Catastrophic termination of operation.
If through
catastrophe such as, but not limited to, fire, flood or
earthquake, a program is unable to operate as certified,
the governing body shall be responsible for providing
emergency accommodations and continuing support to all
residents until such time as the residential program can

0-5

be
made
habitable
or
alternate
stable
accommodations can be found.
No operating certificate is transferable.

living

The certificate holder shall notify the Departments when
he or she becomes aware that alterations are planned in
a leased building in which the facility is located which
affect or could affect the usability of any part of the
facility by persons with physical disabilities.
The certificate holder shall cooperate with the
Departments ~uring a review of inspection of the program.
7.

ADMISSION ELIGIBILITY

All residents must be Mentally Ill and Homeless and:
Residing in municipal or private shelter
Residing on the street or other public place
Those in municipal hospitals who were homeless
immediately prior to hospitalization who are determined
to be appropriate for this program:
In addition to above:
Level of motivation to obtain permanent housing
Agree to follow TR rules
Agree to receive treatment for mental health and any
concurrent substance abuse problem
8.

LIMITATIONS ON LENGTH OP STAY

Length of stay intended to be no more than 6 months
NOTE: trl'ILXZATION REVXEW PROVZSION POR LENGTHS OP STAY BEYOND
6 MONTHS SHOULD BE DEVELOPED
9.

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OP RESIDENTS

(1) Residents have the following rights:
A set of rights which address issues such as personal
needs allowance provided on a regular basis and
residents' rights to use this money as they choose unless
they voluntarily enroll in money management program or
program is representative payee for the individual
An agreement which describes the specific requirement of

0-6

the program.
These may include house rules regarding
visitors, curfews, use of substances, use of premises,
and allowable reasons for termination of residency
To have a habitable living space and common area which
meets the standards set out in the regulations
To be informed of any grievance process
(2) Individuals have the following obligations:
Respect

righ~s

of others residing in the TR

To act in ways which do not adversely affect the premises
or the program
To abstain from the use of substances and agree to attend
a program for any concurrent substance abuse problem
To participate in the services which are essential to the
successful outcome of the program goals
To follow the house rules
10.

TERM:INATION FROM THE PROGRAM

Any individual who violates rules of TR on repeated
occasions may be discharged.
Under no circumstances is someone to discharged to the street.
Discharges are allowed to the shelter, to housing or when
clinically indicated to an inpatient setting or substance
abuse program.
When a discharge is made because it is determined that the
individual has violated the rules the resident is entitled to
go through an appeal process.
When a resident is discharged to another level of care i . e.
hospital or drug treatment center, the TR may hold bed for 30
days time if it is judged that the individual will most likely
return to the program.
11.

RESIDENT SERVICES

The TR must assure that the following services are available
either on site or through linkages with other service
providers:
(1)

Assessment: Continuous clinical process of identifying an
individual's diagnosis and behavioral strengths and
weakness, problems and housing and service needs.

D-7

(2)

Assistance with Community Living : Helping residents to
develop the skills necessary to move into and remain in
permanent housing. This may include one to one
interventions, small structured groups or large group
settings which focus on such
issues
as
grooming,
dressing, nutrition, cleaning , shopping, cooking, money
management, travel and use of leisure time.

( 3)

Case Management: Is the process of linking the individual
to the service system and coordinating the provision of
services with the objective of continuity of care and
service.
Case management includes the following
components: ·
Linking,
Case-Specific
advocacy,
entitlements and monitoring .

(4)

Crisis Intervention:
Activities and interventions,
including medication and verbal therapy, designed to
address acute distress and associated behaviors when the
individual's condition requires immediate attention .

(5)

Discharge Planning:
The process of planning for
transition from the program to permanent housing. This
includes identifying the resources and supports needed
for transition to permanent housing and making the
necessary referrals, including entitlements, linkages for
treatment, rehabilitative and supportive services based
on assessment of the patient's current mental status,
strengths, weaknesses, problems, servi ce needs, the
demands of the patient's living situation, working and
social environment and the client's own goals, needs and
desires.

(6)

Emergency and Psychiatric Inpatient Services:

(7)

Health screening and referral service: The gathering of
data concerning the patient • s medical history and any
current signs and symptoms, and the assessment of the
data to determine the patient's physical health status
and need · for referral for noted problems.

( 8)

Housing Services:
This is intended to prepare the
individual for permanent housing and must include
training in activities necessary to maintain housing such
as ADL skills, shopping, medication compliance, money
management and travel.

(9)

Medication Education: This means providing patients
with information concerning the nature of their mental
illness and the effects, benefits, risks and possible
side effects of a proposed course of medication.

D-8

(10)

Medication Therapy:
This means prescribing andjor
administering medication, reviewing the appropriateness
of the patient's existing medication regimen through
review of records and consultation with the patient and
monitoring the effects of medication on the patient's
mental and physical health.

(11)

Mental Health Services: These are services provided by
clinics ,
continuing
day
treatment,
partial
hospitalization and Intensive Rehabilitative Treatment
Programs which are licensed by the State Office of Mental
Health.

(12)

OUtreach: This is the process of engaging and assessing
individuals in shel tel;'s or in public places for the
purpose of determining their appropriateness for the TR
and working with the individual to enable them to enroll
in the program.

(13)

Preadmission Screening: This is the initial face-to-face
process of contacting, interviewing and evaluating a
potential resident to determine the
individual's
appropriateness for the program and willingness to
enroll.

(14)

Prevocational and Educational services: These services
focus on the evaluation of the residents needs and
readiness in regards to vocational and educational
services.

(15)

Room and Board: The availability of three meals a day
and adequate and appropriate sleeping area

(16)

Substance Abuse Services:

(17)

Transportation:
NOTE: MAY WAN'!' '1'0 IDEN'l'D'Y '!'HOSE SERVICES REQO:IRED TO BE
PROV:IDED ON S:ITE AND THOSE WB:ICB MAY BE PROV:IDED BY
AGREEMENT

12 .

SERVICE PLAN
There shall be a services plan developed for each resident of
a TR. The Plan shall include the following elements:
NOTE: HOST DETERM:INE TIME FRAME
COMPONENTS OF TBE SERVICE PLAN

FOR

COMPLETING

VARJ:OUS

An assessment of the resident's psychiatric, substance abuse,

physical, social and housing needs

D-9

A description of how each of the areas identified in the
assessment will be addressed including services which will be
delivered onsite and referrals which will be made to other
service providers
The resident's mental illness diagnosis and substance
abuse problems
The resident's housing goals and steps being taken to prepare
residents to obtain permanent housing
The specific objectives and services necessary to accomplish
the housing goals~
The resident shall actively participate in the development of
the service plan and the plan must be reviewed with the
resident on a regular basis and revised as necessary to
reflect housing and treatment goals
NOTE: IF A MEDICAID STRATEGY IS USED TO FUND SERVICES,
ADDITIONAL 'l'REA'l'MENT PLANNING AND PROGRESS NOTE. REQUIREMENTS
WILL BE REQUIRED
13.

CONFIDENTIALITY

There must be written policies which govern confidentiality of
clinical information and information regarding HIV status.
Personnel and Case Records must be maintained in accordance
with recognized and acceptable principles of record keeping
which protects persons confidentiality
NOTE: SECTIONS OF PART 900.19 AND 491.14 KAY BE
THIS SECTION

14.

tJSED FOR

STAFFING

l.

There shall be an appropriate number and mix of staff in
the TR to provide the services outlined in this part

2.

Staffing shall
following:

include but

not

be

limited

to

the

Full time program director who will be responsible for
the overall direction and supervision of the TR
Supervisory Staff on coverage 24 hours a day
NOTE: NEED TO DETERMINE THE MINIMUM NUMBER DORING THE DAY
AND NIGHT

Adequate number of residential aides

0-10

NOTE: SHOULD i'BEY BE ON 2 4 HOURS A DAY OR ONLY DORING THE
DAY. WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL NUMBER DtTRING THE DAY AND NIGHT
SJII!'TS

3.

There shall be an appropriate number and mix of staff on
site with an expertise in the following areas:
Evaluation and Assessment
including
screening and treatment planning

preadmission

Substance Abuse Counseling
Recreational ' services
Case management
Housing Placement
Medication Management
Supportive Skills Training
Obtaining Entitlements
Discharge Planning
NO'l'B: i'BE STAFF TO PATIBN!l' RATJ:O MUST BE DETERMJ:NED THE
NEED '1'0 DVE SPECJ:PJ:C TYPES OP STAPP MAY BE DETERMINED BY
WHO IS ELJ:GJ:BLB '1'0 BJ:LL MEDJ:CAJ:D POR SERVJ:CES

4.
15.

Adequate staff to maintain the facility in a safe, clean
and secure manner.

ENVIRONMEN'l'AL STANDARDS

use Part 900.12 and 491.10
16.

WAJ:VER

In addition to waiver provisions set out in Part 900 may
want to allow waiver specifically for physical plant
requirements which existing TRs could not meet.

0-11

Appendix E
Memorandum from Commission Member Frank G. Zarb to Members of the
Commission Regarding Proposed Private Sector Housing Initiative

TO:

Members of the Commission

FROM:

Frank G. Zarb

DATE:

January 24, 1992

RE:

PROPOSED PRIVATE SECTOR HOUSING INITIATIVE

This memorandum will provide the Commissioners with some background and the
general financial and development assumptions supporting a private sector led proposal
for your review. The memorandum is not intended to offer recommendations for any
effort to raise the necessary financial contributions at this time.

Scope of the Problem
Despite the considerable intervention of New York State, New York City and the notfor-profit sector over the past eight years,' the construction of standard, safe and
affordable housing for homeless families and individuals continues to be an intractable
problem, especially in New York City. While thousands of units of housing have been
created for the homeless. and low income households through State and City capital
sources, recent estimates· indicate that over 4, 700 families and 15,000 individuals in
New York City still require permanent housing. With the withdrawal of the Federal
government from any large scale housing production programs since the early 80's,
New York State and City have allocated over $2 billion of capital dollars to respond to
the problem. The severe downturn in the economies of the Northeastern states has
further eroded any available revenues from the public sector. The ability of the State,
City or the not-for-profit sector to add any additional resources ·at this time seems
bleak.

Corporate Response
The private sector, "Corporate New York" appears to be the remaining resource for
additional financial assistance.
Why should "Corporate New York" accept such a responsibility.
To help build permanent housing, not mass shelters, for the homeless is the morally
correct, altruistic action to undertake. To assist a family or single person to be housed,
to be protected from the cold or inclement weather, to be safe from the fear of crime,
to receive social service assistance, education and job training can make lost adults
productive and save children.

There is another reason. New York City has created the environment, the physical and
social infrastructure, for large and small sized corporations to conduct their commerce
and business and to become successful. The quality of life within new York City
directly impacts upon the ability to conduct business and commerce. The ·private
sector' s and the public sector's interests are both served by improving the general
environment of our streets, transportation facilities, parks and other public spaces.
Now is a moment in the City's history when the private sector must contribute to a
critical need. While the provision of housing will not cure the cause of homelessness
of every individual or family, the lives of an overwhelming majority will be decidedly
improved. This proposal is not an experiment; rather, it is an investment in a known
technology with a record of success.
Corporate financial assistance, combined with the experience of not-for-profit
organizations in producing ~ousing for the homeless, can potentially be more effective
than the government's efforts. The private and not-for-profit sectors are not
encumbered with the statutory and regulatory procedures that can delay the public
sector.

Proeram Goals and Costs
New York City corporations would assist in the support to fmance permanent housing,
build on city-owned land for 800 families and 400 individuals currently living in City
shelters or shelters operated by not-for-profits or in welfare hotels. A target of 1,000
units will be selected to be built over a 3 year period. 200 units of the total would be
aimed for the single population and possibly having 2 persons occupy each unit.
The experience of the public sector over the last few years indicates an approximate
total development cost of $100,000/unit to produce low density permanent housing for
families in garden stlye apartment complexes with an on-site community buildings that
will provide space for recreation, job-training, counseling, and educational classes. A
unit for singles should cost less due to shared kitchen facilities. Since construction will
be undertaken over the next 3 years and account for inflation, we will approach
construction costs conservatively and estimate a cost of $110,000/unit. For a total of
1,000 units, therefore, the construction estimate is a total cost of $110,000,000.
For the purposes of this memo, we will not estimate the cost for the construction of
facilities for individuals at a lower level. The costs for transitional units should average
around 25% less.
The operations and maintenance of the units, insurance, reserves, utilities, etc., will
cost approximately $4,800/unit/year. Since most families receive some form of public
assistance for their housing needs, most, but not all of the $4,800, will be covered.
Not all of the singles, however, will be receiving public assistance, at least not at an
early stage of their residency. There is also the cost for an enhanced package of social
services which will amount to $10,000/household/year. Most of the cost for social
services is reimbursed by Federal, State or City programs. However, there will be the

-2-

need for governmental sources to appropriate additional funds for the operational and
social service costs.

Fmancin& Structure
We envision a legal structure where a certified not-for-profit, or other not-for-profits
experienced in low income housing, will be sponsor/owner for each project. By having
.a not-for-profit entity act as the owner, the housing would qualify under Federal tax law
as tax-exempt debt. The debt could be issued through a subsidiary of the State Housing
Finance Agency or City Housing Development Corporation. The not-for-profit will
serve as the developer. Construction will be undertaken by the private sector. The
debt will be capitalized for one year and possibly issued as commercial paper or
variable rate debt during construction. Upon completion, the debt would be amortized
at a fixed rate for a term of 20 to 30 years. Debt will be issued only for the number
of units actually placed in cOnstruction in a given year. This measure will reduce debt
service costs and prevent an over-issuance of bonds. If we were to issue debt for 500
units, using the conservative assumptions of development costs of $100,000, a flat 8%
interest rate with a 30-year term on a level debt structure, the debt service costs will
be approximately $5,625,000/year. After constructing 1,000 units, the debt services
costs will be approximately $11,250,000/year.

Capital Fundin&
By being the commerce center of the nation, New York has the advantage of being the
central office for a large number of publicly-owned and privately-held corporations.
Producing sufficient funds to secure the debt for 1,000 units of housing seems to be a
feasible goal if a sufficiently large number of corporations subscribe to the effort.
Indeed, the goal seems feasible without placing any additional, significant burden on
existing corporate contributory efforts.
Being cognizant of the impact of the recession on corporate sales and earnings, the
proposal is aimed at trying to limit the need for any vast increases in the current levels
of corporate giving. Rather the direction is to request that corporations prioritize this
programmatic effort, target their contributions and dedicate a dollar level for the
maturity of the debt. However, for some corporate entities there will be a need to
increase their current levels.
One possible methodology, to identify possible contributing corporations and their
contribution is to utilize a level of gross sales per year and apply a threshold amount
for a maximum and a minimum. Reviewing a general sample of public and private
companies headquartered in New York City with gross sales of $100 million or greater
per year generates a list of 435 corporations. Companies are then divided into 5 tiers
according to their gross sales in categories from $100 million to $5 billion and over,
and a contribution level of $20,000 to $50,000/year is applied. The contributory levels

- 3-

would amount to .02% to .001% of one percent of their gross sales of their tier. At
these levels $13.1 million/year can be generated. Of course, not each of the 435
corporations will participate, and construction costs will increase over the near.future.

Security for the Debt
The real property/housing will not offer value in traditional real estate valuation. The
projects cannot be used as security or collateral since there will not be any positive cash
flow. The debt will be secured by the pledge of each corporation to donate some
percentage of their sales revenue. As an alternative a corporation could donate a
product or service of their business if there was a direct correlation to reducing the cost
of the housing and to meet a portion of their obligation. For example, a commercial
bank could issue a letter of credit to enhance the credit of the project, a building supply
construction company, or architectural firm could supply materials or their professional
design experience. Unions might be willing to bargain for a lower wage scale to
maintain employment during this recession.
However, private sector funds will ultimately be necessary.
A corporation could choose an annual contribution or accelerate at a faster schedule.
Of course, all funds will be invested and gain some investment earnings.
A number of concerns are raised by asking the private sector to assume this obligation.
The goals, housing units and financial contributions, are ambitious, especially during
this recession, but necessary to have any impact on the problem. There are numerous
equally credible programs competing for the same funds. There are a number of legal
questions regarding the enforceability of the corporate commitment to pay the debt.
What is the legal instrument that binds the corporation? What is the obligation of a
corporation if there is a merger or purchase by another firm or a bankruptcy? Can a
corporation contribute if there is a year or years of losses? Is a corporation open to
stockholder suite if a contribution is made during a year where there is a loss or no
dividend is distributed? These questions will require some further legal research.
Moody's, Standard & Poor's will rate any debt at the level of the lowest rated corporate
securer; this measure will raise the cost of borrowing. One method to respond to this
concern will be to create an additional or higher rated form of security. The major
New York commercial banks or insurance firms could issue letters of credit which will
stand behind the pledge of the corporations. Only very few firms will issue a letter of
credit for longer than 10-15 years and ratings of banks and insurance firms have been
declining due to their own problems.
A strong enhanced credit facility can greatly improve the credit quality of the security,
permit a higher rating, lower debt service costs, and permit marketing to a wider range
of investors.

-4-

Role for FNMA
If the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) was willing to assist in the
financing of homeless housing facilities, the credit rating would be greatly improved
and the costs of financing driven down.

With the reduced role of Federal programs for subsidized housing, FNMA is assuming
.a larger role in producing housing for low, moderate and middle income families.
FNMA's programs run the spectrum from single family to multi-family housing which
is additionally subsidized through various Federal tax, insurance, or capital subsidy
programs. While aimed at producing housing moderate income households, the
programs are not aimed at the very low income levels of the homeless that the City of
New York or State of New York are attempting to assist.
However, two programs offer the possibility of leveraging subsidies if FNMA is willing
to consider a number of revisions to their underwriting standards to assist this very low
income population in this region of the nation.
Multi-Family Debt Financine & Credit Enhancement
FNMA has completed a number of credit enhanced multi-family tax exempt issues.
Under this program a housing finance agency, such as the New York State Housing
Finance Agency or New York City Housing Development Corporation, issues tax
exempt bonds. The proceeds are used to fund permanent mortgage loans. A lender,
originates and underwrites the mortgages according to criteria issued by FNMA for low
income housing. Upon satisfactory completion of construction and occupancy the
lender assigns the mortgage to FNMA. In exchange, FNMA issues and provides a
Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) in an amount equal to the principal amount of the
mortgage.
The MBS serves as credit enhancement for the bonds since FNMA guarantees passthrough of the principal and interest to the bondholders. Since FNMA is rated AAA
by both Moody's and S&P and lease revenue bonds backed by the City or State are
rated Baa/BBB, there could be a substantial savings in the borrowings costs.
For this program to work in New York for the intended housing, FNMA' s underwriting
criteria will need to be substantially modified. Attempting to convince FNMA to
undertake such a modification will be difficult due to the precedential nature.

Bond Purchase
On a limited basis FNMA can directly purchase tax-exempt debt issued to fund multifamily projects. The bonds must be secured by a letter of credit from a rated financial
To enhance
institution and/or by acceptable direct government guarantees.
affordability, FNMA purchases the bonds at a favorable rate, slightly below the
prevailing market rate. The bonds are purchased by FNMA through a private

- 5-

placement which reduces costs through the elimination of underwriting fees.
The direct bond purchase program can be used for housing for persons with _special
needs, making it useful for homeless families or individuals who might also suffer from
drug or alcohol abuse.

Tax Credit Projects
Under the 1986 Tax Act corporations and individuals are eligible to utilize tax credits
generated through investing in the equity for low-income housing. FNMA is willing
on a project by project basis, to make direct investments, especially in high profile,
· deeply targeted projects such as innovative homeless projects.

Schedule
A realistic, feasible schedule would project the 1,000 units to be build over a 3-year
period from the point where corporations have committed their assessments.
Predevelopment requirements include gaining the sites from the City of New York.
Land use and environmental reviews and design would encompass the first year. This
schedule could be accelerated if the State Urban Development Corporation is willing
to utilize its powers of eminent domain to acquire sites..
While some funds from corporations would be required during the predevelopment
stage, the amounts would be minimal. Actual construction would commence in year
2 and buildup to a level where 500 units were completed and occupied each year.
The timing of the issuance of the debt would correspond to the construction schedule
so that the full debt requirement would not be reached until year 3. Hopefully, the time
schedule would permit additional corporations to join the effort.

The initiative can only be successful if there is the willingness of the City and State to
assist the private and not-for-profit sectors to attain this goal.

-6-

PROPOSED HOUSING INITIATIVE
Summary ot Fmancin2 Assumptions

Number of Housing Units:

FamiliesIndividuals-

800
200

1,000
Estimated Construction Cost
per Permanent Unit:

$110,000

Projected Annual Debt Service *
500 housing units:

$5,359,000

1000 housing units:

$10,718,000

Estimated Annual Revenue
Requirement (Debt Service and M&O**):
500 housing units:

$ 7,859,000

1000 housing units:

$15,718,000

*

Assumes 8.00% borrowing cost, one year construction schedule, one year of
capitalized interest, costs of issuance equal to 2.00% of principal, and a debt service
reserve fund equal to 112 maximum annual interest & 30 year amortization.
** Assumes residents are eligible for Federal, State and City public assistance programs
to fund on to costs.

-7-

Appendix F
Letter from Ronald J. Marino, Smith Barney, Attesting to the Reasonableness
of the Financial Assumptions, Calculations and Conclusions Contained in the
Cost Chapter of the Report

SMITH BARNEY
February 6, 1992

Mr. Andrew M. Cuomo
Chairman
New York City Commission on the Homeless
52 Chambers Street; Suite 356 ·
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mr. Cuomo:
The Commission asked Frank Zarb to have Smith Barney work with the Commission in its mission
during the past few. months.. We have worked with some of the Commission members and staff to
assist their efforts to review current City programs for the homeless and recommend new initiatives.
We believe that the fmancial assumptions, calculations and conclusions contained in the cost and
fmancing sections are reasonable.
The service contract fmancing alternatives offered by the
Conunission are known and accepted by the market.
We enjoyed working with you and the other Commission members.
Sincerely,

'?-Jc~~.....:Ronald J. Marino

SMITH BARNEY.
HARRIS UPHAM & CO. INC.
1345 AVE)I;UE OF THE AMERICAS
NEW YORK. NY 10105
2 12~8.0000

Appendix G
Opinion of Whitman & Ransom
Regarding the Cost Chapter of the Report
and the Proposed Service Contract Financing Mechanism

Appendix H
Memorandum from Jerry I. Speyer, President, Tishman Speyer Properties,
to the Commission Regarding Not-for-Profit/Private Partnerships

WHITMAN & RANsoM
Two G:u:z:NWICB

PLAzA

Gli.E.DlWICJI. Com.-zcncur 08830

203•88&-3800

ONE G.A.ttW.A.Y CES'TZJt
NEWAJUt,

N.J. 07102•5398

201-821-2230

200 PABX AVENUE

NEW Yo::e.x. N.Y. 10166
212·351•3000

833 WEST FI:PTH STREEr
los Ali'Gz:t.ES, GA. 80071
213-898-2400
1121

L STBZET

TELECOPIEJl: 212·351•3131

S.A.CBAMENTO, CA. 95814

TE.I.E:X: RC.A. 238438

91&-441-4242

11 W.A.TEJU.OO PL.a.cz

Tol!..U10MON 3-CaoME ANNEx

BLDG.

LONDON SW1 Y 4A.U, ENGL..U"D

3-7·12 TOl!..U10MON

011-44-71-83&-3228

MlNATC>-Ku. TOXYO lOS. JAPAN

8: AssociEs
CBA'OssU DE LA Htrl.P:£, 187

03-438-4388

JANSON B.A.UGN'IET

B-1170 BllUSSE:LS, BELGIUM

February 7, 1992

011•32-2-87&-3()-30

Andrew Cuomo
Chainnan
New York City Commission on Homeless
52 Chambers Street, Suite 356
New York, New York 10007
Dear Mr. Cuomo:
We have reviewed the Report of the Commission on the
Homeless (the "Report ").
As you know we have acted as bond counsel in connection
with revenue bonds issued by the New York State Housing Finance
Agency to finance, for not-for-profit corporations, transitional
housing facilities occupied by homeless families in the City.
The corporations use the facilities to provide transitional
housing and related services to homeless families referred to the
facilities pursuant to service contracts between the corporations
and the City. Payments by the City under the service contracts
secure the debt service on the revenue bonds.

The matters discussed in the Costs section of the
Report appear reasonable from the standpoint of applicable
finance law. In addition, the service contract financing
mechanism described in said section is known and legally
acceptable.
We welcome the opportunity to work with the City and
the Commission should a decision be made to proceed with such a
plan of finance.
Very truly yours,

{1/~t:WJ+~~

~

1TishmanSpeyer
· Propertles.lnc.

520 Madison Avenue
New York. New Yoi"X 10022

~

Direct une: 212-715-031 0
Telex: ITT 424096 TSP Ul
Fax: 212-755 -0067

Jerry I. Speyer
President

To:

Commission on the Homeless

From:

Jerry I. Speyer
Tishman Speyer Properties

Re:

Not-for-profit/Private Partnerships

Date:

February 5,

tm

Tishman Speyer Properties has had extensive development experience
with not-for-profit organizations. Working with not-for-profits, we have
developed over 800 units of transitional and permanent residential units.
In addition to the work Tishman Speyer has completed in partnership
with not-for-profits, we have developed $5 billion worth of commercial
and residential projects throughout the world. According to our
experiences and upon conferring with others in the industry, private
contractors, in partnership with not-for-profits, can build housing at a
cost in excess of 25% below that which it costs the City of New York
when it builds directly. This cost difference is due to a number of
factors including the opportunity for negotiated private contracting
without the encumbrance of public bidding, the elimination of the
requirement of the Wick's Law and reduced overhead for private
development.

NEW YORK

FRANKFURT

CHICAGO

BOCA RATON
HONG KONG

MIAMI

SAN FRANCISCO

FORT LAUDERDALE
STAMFORD

Appendix I
Letter from Gregory Kaladjian, Acting Commissioner,
New York State Department of Social Services,
Regarding Program Eligibilty for Federal Funds

.

NEW YORK STATE

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

*

40 NORTH PEARL STREET, ALBANY, NEW YORK 12243.0001

'\.

Gregory ·M. Kaladjian
Act.inc Commiuioner

'

,..¥~~.;.,;;. . J

-

February 7, 1992

Mr. Arrlrew Olaro
C1ainnan

Mayor •s Commission on Hamelessness
HEIP
12 East 33rd street

C/O

6th Floor
New York, NY

10016

Dear Mr. cuono:

Please be advised that it is reasonable to assume that given the profile
of the current shelter population in New York City, that once the population
is assigned to not-for-profit agencies an:i placed in appropriate programs,
that at least 15% of program ~ could be eligible for federal ~.
I hope this info:rmation is helpful.

sry, .· ")
l

~

( ~~ ,----

GregoJ, M. Kaladj ian
Actin;J camnissioner
cc:

M.J. DJwli.rq

AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER

Appendix J
Transition

TRANSITION

The proposals contained in the Commission's report call for
sweeping changes in the City's transitional facilities, additional
permanent housing, a pilot rental assistance program, and an increased
reliance on the not-for-profit and private sectors . Implementing these
proposals means closing the welfare hotels, downsizing the armories
and converting existing facilities to new uses . Administrative changes,
and perhaps new legislation, will be required.
The radical
transformation of the system will take a considerable period of time to
complete. As a result, the present emergency system for homeless
singles and families can be expected to remain in place, at least in
part, during this transition.
The restructuring of the current shelter system will take place at
the same time the City is struggling to provide appropriate shelter to
large numbers of homeless families and individuals, and thus will
require an added degree of flexibility for the emergency system . Many
of the restrictions and constraints which circumscribe the present
system will be inappropriate and unnecessary once the reforms
outlined herein are fully in place. One measure is especially urgent:
An Administrative Directive, 83 ADM 47, currently requires
families to be referred "immediately" to emergency housing.
This time frame should be made more flexible because it is
unrealistic and does not appropriately take into account the
need to process the family and identify an appropriate
vacancy.
It also does not take into account problems
caused by families arriving after normal business hours and
the lack of available emergency housing despite the
agency's best effort to secure emergency housing.1

There were a number of dissents from this recommendation .

J -1

This recommendation is contingent upon the continued existence
of the Commission or another ind~pendent body appointed by and
reporting to the Mayor, and is limited to the period of time during
which the Commission, or other independent body is overseeing the
transition to the new emergency system.

J -2

Selected Bibliography

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1

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3

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!..H!.l:o~mw.:e~l~e~ss~n~e~s~s~:-!.!.lm!..!.lp~l~e~m..!:e~n~t~a..l:.!ti.::::;o!..!n__.::::;of.:....-!F~o~o~d~a:.:..n=d

~S~h~e~lt~e~r--!..P.!..;ro~g~r~a~m~s:::....._~u:....:.nd:::.;e=r"--t=:..:..h=e::....-lM~c:.!,.;K~in~n~e~yJ.--:....:.A=ct.

Washington,

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4

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