Improve Living Conditions at Homeless Shelters


Target: Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio

Goal: Improve the living conditions for homeless families living in shelters.

Many of New York City’s homeless shelters provide inhospitable living conditions, according to a recent report by the city’s Department of Investigation (DOI). Over the course of a year staff conducted an investigation to determine whether or not the facilities were suitable for families. What they found were rat- and roach-infested rooms and facilities plagued by puddles of urine and garbage. There was even a dead rat found in one of the apartments. The Commissioner of the DOI Mark G. Peters released a statement along with the report saying, “Dangerous living conditions, rat-and-roach infested residences, and fire violations are the stark reality facing too many homeless families and children in the city’s shelters.”

With a total of 621 building, housing and fire violations, they determined that the conditions were not suitable for families, especially children. With all of the funding that is put into housing programs for the homeless it is hard to believe that the facilities are being neglected to this extent. Placing a family inside of a temporary housing facility in these types of conditions isn’t helpful at all. In fact, it exposes them to the very type of environment they are fighting to make it out of. The city provides shelter for more than 60,000 homeless people every night, so it is imperative that this issue is addressed with a sense of urgency.

Sign the petition below to support efforts to improve the overall conditions of homeless shelters in New York City.


Dear Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio,

The conditions at dozens of homeless shelters in New York City are simply unacceptable. Every year millions of dollars go into homeless programs that are designed to get people off of the streets and into safe environments. If the facilities aren’t safe the allotted funding isn’t being used effectively. A portion of this funding should be designated for maintenance and cleaning. With so many different people coming in and out of these facilities it is important that they are kept sanitary.

The hundreds of violations that were found also need to be addressed and many facilities may need to be closed down. This is no way for anyone to live no matter what circumstance they may be facing.

I urge you to respond to the recent DOI report by ensuring that the conditions of homeless shelters are significantly improved.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Louis Tanner via Flickr

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