‘Are they just cutting them loose and saying, ‘Here you go’?’…
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) New York City has spent millions of dollars transporting hundreds of homeless people to different cities without informing the other cities that they were doing so.
Mayor Bill de Blasio instituted the Special One-Time Assistance program in 2017.
It gives homeless people a year’s worth of rent and a one-way ticket to somewhere else.
And it’s cost city taxpayers more than $90 million since it was implemented.
More than 12,000 individuals have been relocated under the program, and some have even made their way to Hawaii or Puerto Rico.
Homeless individuals and families are eligible for the program if they can prove they’ve lived in a NYC shelter for more than 90 days and that their household income is less than or equal to twice as much as their rent cost.
The city also funds furnishing for recipients, according to the New York Post.
New York City’s Department of Homeless Services has defended the high costs, arguing that it has saved the city money overall on shelter funding, which costs about $41,000 per family, the city said.
The problem is NYC hasn’t notified other cities that they’re shipping homeless people en masse out of the Big Apple and to other parts of the country.
“So in other words, if someone is in a shelter, y’all will give them money to go somewhere else if they have been there for 90 days? And some of those people have been sent to Metairie?” said Michael Yenni, president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, when the Post told him his community is one of the program’s destinations.
The mayor of Willacoochee, Georgia — another program destination — was also completely unaware of the program.
“I’m not familiar with none of that,” Mayor Samuel Nelson told the Post.
The mayor of Harrisville, Utah, Michelle Tait, was similarly shocked: “Are they just cutting them loose and saying, ‘Here you go’? Or are they making sure they don’t find themselves in the same situation a year later?”
According to the Post, the answer is no.
Hundreds of homeless families have ended up back in NYC shelters, and many more have ended up in shelters in the towns they were relocated to.
Joshua Goldfein, a legal aid lawyer, told the Post that the DHS has no interest in making sure these families don’t re-enter shelters. They just want them out of NYC, he said.
The problem has gotten so out of hand that over in New Jersey, Newark is “in the process of passing an ordinance to ban New York from sending us [homeless individuals and families],” according to Newark city spokesman Mark Di Ionno.