De Blasio Unveils New Center Addressing Homeless Issue

Rich Lamb
January 09, 2020 - 5:57 pm
Street Homelessness Joint Command Center

Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday unveiled one of New York City’s newest assets being used to conquer the homeless crisis.

In late 2019, the mayor announced a new program, called Outreach NYC, which plans to train 18,000 city employees to go out into the city’s subways and buses to offer homeless individuals the help they need.

At the center of the effort is the new Street Homelessness Joint Command Center, which is housed on the 17th floor of a lower Manhattan building.

The command center, which technically opened in 2018, brings together agencies who can understand the needs of homeless New Yorkers and create better outreach plans.

Now, the center has another way of monitoring the city with a real-time map displaying the whereabouts of NYPD Homeless Outreach units, a wall of TV monitors with access to over 2,000 cameras in the five boroughs and displays of calls about the location of homeless people.

Street Homelessness Joint Command Center
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

“We have never seen a 24/7 effort to ensure that anyone homeless gets immediate services, immediate support that if someone is standing out there on the corner, they're not going to be ignored, they're going to be addressed,” said Mayor de Blasio. “You're talking about all the ability of our social service agencies and our police force, combined.”

The goal is to make sure the needs of every single homeless person is addressed, de Blasio added.

There are about 60,000 New York homeless residents, according to the Department of Homeless Services.