October 5, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 5th, 2021
Mariah McGough, firstname.lastname@example.org
VOCAL-NY RESPONDS TO NYT INVESTIGATION OF SHELTER PROVIDER, CALLS ON LIKELY MAYOR ERIC ADAMS TO STOP FUNDING UNSCRUPULOUS OPERATORS
VOCAL-NY Members Can Attest CORE Corruption is Not Unique or Uncommon, Citing Inedible Food, Crumbling Buildings, and Overdose Deaths
NEW YORK — In response to the New York Times investigation “Housing Boss Earns 1 Million to Run Shelters, Despite Troubled Past”, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Joe Loonam, Housing Campaigns Coordinator at VOCAL-NY:
“We’re disgusted that shelter operators like Jack Brown exist, and are paid millions by New York City to deliver horrendous living conditions for people in need. This kind of corruption is not isolated to CORE, or Jack Brown. The investigation describes conditions that our members have seen across the City — inedible food, crumbling buildings, and services of such poor quality that the number one cause of death in shelters is preventable overdose.
The de Blasio Administration should be ashamed. VOCAL-NY recently helped pass a bill to increase the largest voucher program in New York City to a fair market rate, overcoming heavy resistance from the de Blasio administration. Whenever the Mayor opposed increasing funding to this program, he said the $236 million price tag was more than the City could afford, but this single shelter provider was being given $352 million over the exact same time period.
Eric Adams is likely the next Mayor to inherit the City’s homelessness crisis and its multi-billion-dollar shelter budget. Adams must stop funding greedy and unscrupulous operators like Jack Brown, and commit real resources for permanent housing for homeless New Yorkers.”
VOCAL-NY has fought for homeless New Yorkers for over two decades, and always held the position that our city and our state must be focused on providing permanent housing, rather than spending millions of dollars on temporary shelters.
In New York City, leaders successfully lobbied to increase the CityFHEPS voucher to market rate, unlocking more apartments for those living in shelters. And on the state level, VOCAL-NY successfully ushered in the passage of the Housing Our Neighbors With Dignity Act (HONDA), which will fund conversions of distressed hotels into supportive and affordable housing.