One in 4 homeless shelter residents with serious mental illness have been positioned in metropolis shelters that weren’t outfitted to offer them the assistance they wanted, based on a state audit launched on Thursday.
The audit issued by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s workplace discovered that the town’s Division of Homeless Providers did a poor job of assessing and assembly the wants of some homeless people that suffer from mental illness or substance abuse. The report comes days after Mayor Eric Adams introduced a ramp-up of his administration’s efforts to deal with rising homelessness and as he seeks buy-in from Albany to additional his plans.
“The Department of Social Services must do a better job helping some of the city’s most vulnerable people,” DiNapoli mentioned in a press release. “DHS’ shortcomings can have serious implications. It’s my hope that DHS uses the audit findings and recommendations to improve its operations.”
Of the three,022 homeless folks recognized with serious mental illness, auditors discovered that 795 people have been despatched to stay in shelters that didn’t have mental well being specialists on website, based on the report’s findings. And about half of 1,061 people with substance or alcohol abuse points have been positioned in shelters that don’t meet their wants.
The audit lined the interval from January 2018 by way of January 2022.
Inserting homeless New Yorkers in the fitting sort of shelters may improve the chance of discovering steady housing and decrease the chance of residents harming themselves or others, the audit discovered.
DHS disagreed with the findings, saying that assessments and shelter placements are “highly complex.”
“The agency remains committed to its mission of serving New York City’s most vulnerable families and individuals in the most efficient and effective manner, while adhering to all applicable rules, regulations and laws by which we are bound. We ask the comptroller’s office to be mindful that DHS is the safety net clients turn to when other safety nets have failed,” wrote Christine Maloney, a deputy commissioner at DHS, within the company’s response to the audit.
On Tuesday, Adams ordered the town to involuntarily transfer people deemed unable to satisfy their “basic needs” into hospitals even when they don’t pose an overt menace to themselves or others.
Metropolis Corridor’s escalation comes because the mayor’s efforts to take away homeless folks from streets and subways by way of encampment sweeps resulted in solely 115 out of 2,098 folks prepared to enter a shelter.
Jacquelyn Simone, director of coverage for the advocacy group Coalition for the Homeless, says folks with mental illness are languishing in metropolis shelters for effectively over a yr, on common. If the town and state need to assist, they need to place people into everlasting supportive housing as shortly as doable with wrap-around providers.
“I think that it’s somewhat simplistic to say that DHS should just be funneling more people into those facilities without actually assessing the types of services and outcomes for people in those facilities,” Simone mentioned.