Nonprofit blasts Cuomo's approach to homelessness

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speakers on Dec. 17 in Manhattan.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speakers on Dec. 17 in Manhattan.
Office of the Governor

Nonprofit blasts Cuomo's approach to homelessness

And other updates from across New York
August 20, 2019

The Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation will honor the CEO and President of YWCA Brooklyn. Martha Kamber is receiving the Eighth Annual Atlantic Avenue Ambassador Award, which is given to community leaders for their cultural and economic influence on Atlantic Avenue and the surrounding areas. As head of the YWCA, Kamber has overseen the creation of more than 300 units of affordable homes for low-income women and homeless survivors of domestic violence. Past honorees include business leaders and elected officials.


Giselle Routhier, policy director at the Coalition for the Homeless, spoke out against the state’s latest approach to homelessness in the subway on the “Brian Lehrer Show.” The MTA deployed police officers and outreach workers to subway stations this weekend to reach out to homeless people for services and shelter placements, while MTA police officers enforced agency violations.

“What the governor came out with this week is really just an extremely harmful practice meant to make it look like he’s doing something when, in fact, he’s ignoring all the real solutions to homelessness,” she said on the show. 

Routhier also criticized the methodology for an official headcount of people sleeping in subways at night and outlined her vision of how the city and state should address the problem. Listen to the whole interview below:


The New York City Department of Social Services is entering a negotiated acquisition extension with eight organizations. The extension is related to “anti-poverty program evaluation and research services” with the following organizations: ABT Associates, Chapin Hall Center for Children, the Center for Court Innovation, McClanahan Associates, MDRC, RAND Corporation, the Urban Institute, and Westat. The department also published a solicitation for “on-call lead abatement services.”


A public vote will decide which Herkimer and Oneida county-based nonprofits receive a $10,000 grant. The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties is choosing one recipient from each of the following eight categories: animal welfare, arts and culture, education, health and wellness, human services, seniors, sports and recreation, and “copper city,” which is a category for projects in the City of Rome. From almost 80 organizations that submitted grant proposals, the foundation and sponsors narrowed down the voting to three nonprofits per category. The voting is open online until Aug. 31. 


Patch profiled how one woman ended up running the nonprofit that helped her as a teenager. Debra de Jesus-Vizzi, the executive director for Student Sponsor Partners, had first-hand experience with the organization’s founder before he officially created SSP. Peter Flanigan met her at a group home in 1976, after she escaped an abusive foster family. He decided to pay for her private school education, an idea that grew into the nonprofit that now oversees more than 1,000 students. De Jesus-Vizzi’s experiences led her to pursue work in child welfare and social services before returning to SSP last year.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.