Prioritizing Homeless Children And Their Families: A Report And Recommendations Based On The Work Of The Family Homelessness Task Force

Issue Reports & Briefs

June 1, 2017

Despite what many imagine a homeless person in New York City to look like, nearly 70% of the people in the City’s shelter system are children and their families. In fact, over 27,000 children slept in New York City homeless shelters last night, many of whom had been in the shelter system for over a year.

These numbers and the research on the impact that homelessness has on children, led Citizens’ Committee for Children, Enterprise Community Partners and New Destiny Housing to convene the Family Homelessness Task Force (FHTF). The FHTF is a group of stakeholders from over 40 organizations with expertise in housing, homelessness, and child well-being, which came together to call more attention to the needs of homeless children and their families and to develop and advance recommendations to prevent and end family homelessness, while ensuring the well-being of families living in shelter.

This report, released by CCC, Enterprise and New Destiny, includes recommendations that are based on the work of the FHTF’s three workgroups: Prevention; In-Shelter; and Post-Shelter.  Each group was asked to generate a body of policy and programmatic recommendations that would together strengthen the prevention, permanent housing and service options available to reduce and eliminate homelessness, while also improving the experiences of children and their families while in shelter.

Recommendations include:

  • Strengthen and enforce rent-stabilization policies to prevent loss of affordable housing units
  • Invest in prevention strategies that will prevent housing crises.
  • Develop safe alternatives to shelter for homeless families headed by domestic violence survivors.
  • Support and fund the proposed Home Stability Support rent supplement.
  • Place homeless families with children in safe and appropriate settings.
  • Expedite the elimination of cluster sites and hotels for families with children, and immediately take actions to improve conditions for homeless families in hotels.
  • Increase funding and modify policies to improve the educational outcomes of homeless children, but addressing educational continuity and participation in early childhood education programs.
  • Increase access to permanent affordable housing for homeless families
  • Target, standardize and streamline the allocation of existing homeless housing resources.
  • Strengthen post shelter services and develop new models to foster housing stability. You can read the full report.

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