Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Responds to Mayor Adams Budget Proposal

April 27, 2022

CONTACT: Mariah McGough,, 203 470 9979


NEW YORK — In response to Mayor Adams announcement of his administration’s Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2023, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Althea Matthews, a Homelessness Union leader and New York City-based harm reduction street outreach worker who is currently experiencing homelessness:

“Mayor Adams’ budget proposal offers hope for some, but more of the same for the most marginalized in New York City. Increased funding toward criminalization and incarceration – while investments in care, housing, and services pale in comparison – will not keep low-income, Black and Brown New Yorkers safe. We simply cannot talk about compassion while maintaining and expanding the huge budgets of criminalization and incarceration and investing a comparatively minuscule amount on non-police interventions like violence interrupters and BHEARD.

Mayor Adams’ major $1B investment into housing and the expansion of low barrier safe-haven placements and services is a step in the right direction towards safe, permanent housing. Yet this does not negate the responsibility to ensure that this administration engages in trauma-informed approaches that reduce the impact of harm from first point of contact, to lease signing for people experiencing homelessness. The pathway to transitioning from a street dwelling should not have to include experiencing the trauma and threat of guns and garbage trucks, but instead single-occupancy safe havens and peer-led harm reduction services.

At the end of the day, we need to see more details about how the Mayor’s programs are expected to roll out to make a final judgment.”


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