New York City Councilmember Erik Bottcher has partnered with WIN – the largest provider of shelter and supportive services for homeless families in the city – to expand mental healthcare for families in shelters.
The bill, introduced June 16, will require the city to fund mental health clinicians at every family shelter who will provide parents and children with the support they need.
Nearly two-thirds of homeless New Yorkers are families with children, with an average of 8,400 families with over 14,000 children sleeping in shelters each night this year.
“If a homeless mother had a broken leg, we would all agree she needs care immediately — the city needs to treat mental health the same way,” said Christine C. Quinn, President & CEO of WIN. “From addressing mental health challenges to treating substance abuse, the city has an obligation to step up with the resources our families need and deserve. In and of itself, becoming homeless is a traumatic experience, and with this bill we can improve New Yorkers’ lives while they’re in shelter and help them find the stability they need to move into permanent housing.”