How We Can Help the Homeless

New York Post

Letter to the Editor

November 23, 2015

By Rafael E. Cestero
President & CEO, The Community Preservation Corporation


Your Nov. 19 editorial derided Mayor de Blasio’s pledge to create 15,000 units of supportive housing as “smoke and mirrors” and asked: why bother when some homeless will always refuse help?

The answer: 15,000 people will have the opportunity to get a hand-up, get off the streets, and get their lives back on track.

A report issued by City and State agencies on the supportive housing created under New York/New York III (the previous City/State collaboration to finance supportive housing) found that tenants spent fewer days in jail, homeless shelters, and State-operated psychiatric facilities. It also found significant costs savings in the utilization of government subsidized health care, social services, and jail among tenants served by supportive housing versus those who were not.

Supportive housing is not only compassionate, it’s one of the most effective and cost efficient pathways to ending homelessness. That’s not smoke and mirrors.