New York City will re-establish a domestic violence program in homeless shelters as part of broader efforts to upgrade security at the facilities, where family incidents are the most common form of violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
The NYPD will retrain all security staff at the Department of Homeless Services and place a police management team there. A more extensive reporting system will track incidents at shelters.
There have been three stabbings in homeless shelters in the past several weeks. Homeless people have cited the violence as reasons they perfer staying outside in the cold rather than heading to city shelters.
“Homelessness may be synonymous with despair,” said Mary Brosnahan, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless, “but protecting homeless women and children from brutality and providing them the emotional support to heal are the two key essentials to shifting their lives towards hope and prosperity.”