FEBRUARY 28, 2017 (NEW YORK) — New York City-based homeless services and re-entry organization The Doe Fund today announced its support and endorsement of Mayor de Blasio’s homelessness initiative announced this afternoon at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. Founder and President of The Doe Fund, George McDonald, called the plan, “The fulfillment of a hopeful vision for New York City, in which those at the very bottom of our society are afforded the same dignity and opportunity as every other citizen.”
The Mayor’s sweeping plan includes citing ninety new transitional facilities, a renewed focus on nonprofit partnerships, and capital improvements throughout the city’s existing facilities. “It is the most progressive, focused, service-forward initiative that we’ve seen in decades,” said McDonald. “For the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who find themselves in transition, the level of care, services, and facilities available to them will be life-changing.”
Enhancements to the shelter system— and its expansion— are long overdue, said McDonald. “Nonprofit organizations have always been there for New Yorkers in need, no matter the political climate. Today the Mayor is standing with all of us on the frontlines of New York’s homelessness crisis. And he’s renewing our commitment not just to provide ‘shelter’ for people without it, but to serve them, to lift them up, and to provide real opportunity to change the course of their lives.”
“The Mayor’s agenda dispenses with quick-fixes and bandages for deep civic wounds,” McDonald explained. “Instead, it focuses on addressing the problem with a solution that works: transitional care for lives in transition. The shelter system should be— will be— a shining symbol of our city’s commitment to fairness and equality. These facilities are not buildings to be hidden away or rendered invisible. They are where life and hope is restored, and they should be hallowed as such. The mayor’s plan does exactly that.”
But the benefits of the Mayor’s plan extend beyond just the individuals served, noted McDonald. “As our shelters have improved and our services expanded, the crime rate in New York has plummeted. The cleanliness of our city has steadily improved. A strong transitional system benefits all New Yorkers. The more we invest in it, the faster people will move out of it, the faster they’ll achieve self-sufficiency. And the fewer people we’ll see on the streets.”
As for the plan’s implementation, McDonald continued, “Of course there will be challenges ahead. Citing new facilities is never easy. But challenges and difficulties have never stood between New York City and progress. With the Mayor’s and Commissioner Banks’ leadership and the shared desire all New Yorkers have for a safer, fairer city, we are that much closer to fulfilling our mandate as providers of hope, service, and opportunity.”
The Doe Fund develops and operates affordable and supportive housing for vulnerable populations including formerly homeless individuals, low-income seniors and families, populations with disabilities, and those at risk of becoming homeless.