New York City Steps Up Mental Health Care and Security for Homeless

New York City Steps Up Mental Health Care and Security for Homeless

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New York City is making it easier for the city’s homeless to receive mental health care.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to increase the number of mental health workers at homeless centers. The idea is to let health care workers place someone who needs care into the city’s mental health system as soon as that homeless person enters a shelter for the first time.

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Those needing care will be included in the city’s mental health tracking system called “The Hub.” It lets agencies determine the best mental health options for homeless people. Without it, many in the past were simply placed into the criminal justice system instead of getting the health care they needed.

The additional mental health workers, along with additional security officers, will be sent to 27 homeless shelters across the city.

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The added security is on top of the 108 “peace officers” the mayor added to 12 homeless shelters last year. Their presence is not only to protect the people in the shelters, but also to combat a perception among the homeless that shelters can be violent.

That fear keeps many on the street rather than checking into shelters.

The Coalition for the Homeless estimates there are close to 60,000 homeless people in New York City.

Photo: Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles

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