March 29, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation and our world are in the midst of the most grave threat to public health we have ever faced in modern times. It is compounded by the worst homelessness crisis since the Great Depression, with over 250,000 of our brothers and sisters facing homelessness in New York alone over the course of a year. Many more may be joining their ranks as the economic impact of the pandemic is felt across every segment of our economy.
We cannot sit back. We must help homeless New Yorkers in need of the most basic foundation for health and safety: a home.
It is our moral obligation to help our neighbors get back on their feet, out of the shelter, the tent or abandoned building, the car or sofa, and into permanent homes of their own. We must provide safe, adequate housing that protects people, restores their dignity, and offers them a viable and cost-effective opportunity to remain stably housed even in the face of rising housing costs, stagnant wages and job loss, an extreme shortage of affordable housing, and the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
As faith leaders, we urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to include Home Stability Support (HSS) in the budget. It would provide help for our homeless and precariously housed neighbors to secure and retain stable, permanent housing.