Adams Unveils $15M in Youth Homelessness Programs, Supportive Housing

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Mayor Eric Adams announced a $15 million slate of programs and housing on Wednesday aimed at eliminating youth homelessness, including transitional units for young people and a shelter diversion program for LGBTQ people, as the city deals with a rising homeless population. 

The administration’s new youth homelessness plan calls for creating drop-in centers for homeless people under 18, host homes for unhoused queer and trans teens, LBTQ-specific shelters and new street outreach efforts. 

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The host homes — provided by the Hetrick-Martin Institute — will help young queer and trans people, particularly those involved in the Ballroom community, avoid or transition out of the homeless shelter system. 

The city is also providing $5.7 million in funding for up to three years of rental assistance for homeless young people and supportive services after the rental assistance ends. The city’s youth development and consumer protection agencies will fund a $1.4 million financial literacy program, which will place financial counselors for teens and young adults in one of eight drop-in centers for homeless young people.

The effort also includes 102 new units of “rapid rehousing” for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, 20 new jobs for formerly homeless youth and a new online platform that will connect young people to supportive services. The mayor’s office said the new programs are expected to launch by the end of this year. 

“With this plan to prevent and end youth homelessness, we are listening to our young people and stepping up with new investments and programs to support them,” said Adams. “From housing, to counseling, to job opportunities, we will never stop working to help New York City’s youth find their way.”

The announcement comes as Mayor Adams faces declining approval ratings — particularly on the issue of homelessness — and the city struggles with a rising tide of homeless New Yorkers and newly arrived asylum seekers. The city is now leasing 11 hotels to house homeless families, City Limits reported today, after the de Blasio administration tried to phase out the use of poorly managed hotels for homeless families a year ago. 

Adams kicked off the efforts to reduce the homeless population by conducting sweeps of temporary camps across the city, winning support from the real estate community but drawing criticims from advocates.

Last month, Adams announced that more than 60 buisnesses and real estate organizations donated $8 million to house the homeless population living in the city’s office districts, in the hope of easing public safety fears and getting workers back to the office.

Rebecca Baird-Remba can be reached at rbairdremba@commercialobserver.com.