The Homeless Crisis Exacerbated By New York City SOTA Program Hezitorial
YONKERS, NY — November 3, 2019 — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been sending New York City homeless families throughout the nation; so far, a total of 5,074 families, 12,482 individuals to 373 towns / communities. The populations are being relocated from New York City to Honolulu, HI, San Juan, PR, and everywhere in between, including the cities of Mount Vernon and Yonkers, NY. Each family is afforded a onetime opportunity to find a residence in a new community with a voucher valued to pay rent for one-year.
The New York Post article has divulged that one community has demanded U.S. Attorney General William Barr launch an investigation into Mayor de Blasio’s use of the Department of Homeless Services’ Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) program. In addition to the one-year rent voucher, New York City has spent an unknown amount of millions more on travel and moving expense.
Mayor De Blasio’s plan reduces and expunges New York City’s concerns with respect to the homeless populations with every departing homeless family’s departure, while exacerbating the costs of other communities with respect to support services beyond the cost of rent.
The City of Yonkers and Westchester County have for years struggled with the homeless population, all too often denying its existence as an ever more costly subsidy that the city and county have been deficient in resolving.
Once the Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) families subsidies for rent runs out after 12 months, responsibility falls onto the city and county.
For Yonkers, should one of the family members be a child of school age, the City of Yonkers (CoY) will be required o spend $27,000 per year per child. The breakfast and lunch programs that are subsidized by New York State is most often not collected for the family / guardians of such qualified who are living under the poverty line. Yonkers unwillingness or capacity to gain access to such funds from the parents / guardians is a burden the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) increasing the deficit of the Yonkers Public School District.
The City of Yonkers has been consistently running a deficit that is never in balance. It is a ledger that somehow gains approval from New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli despite not meeting the best practices standards suggested to the Yonkers Finance Commissioner’s Office by the NYS Comptroller.
The homeless population are suffering exponentially due to many factors. Some are war veterans that are adulated with words but little else. While America wraps the colors of the American flag about their shoulders with pride, the nation has forgotten the very men and women that have asked to serve our military. Many serve more than one term. They gamble their life hoping to survive one, and then another and another. The lucky ones survive bullets, unmitigable physical deformity, and shell shock (PTSD). PTSD is defined as an anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events characterized by such symptoms as survivor guilt, reliving trauma in dreams, numbness and lack of involvement with reality, or recurrent thought and images. PTSD is too often the harbinger of incendiary responses by the sufferer that have caused employers to fire people from their employ, as well as bring about divorce, further diminishing a persons capacity to function within societal standards.
At least one community, unnamed in the New York Post article, is demanding US Attorney General William Barr launch an investigation into Hizzoner’s Special One-Time Assistance program.
Closer to home in Westchester County, Acting Mount Vernon Mayor André Wallace, a Democrat who lost the Democratic Party designation, now running as a Republican in the November 5th election, had harsh words for New York City Hall in response to revelations his community has taken in 138 homeless families in the last two years.
Yet typical of Acting Mayor André Wallace, who said nothing upon learning via email from 60 to 70 outraged people last week of New York City’s conduct, when contacted by the New York Post, he was reminded of what he was made aware. This micro-managing buffoon does not know how leaders are expected serve; that is with honesty and integrity, not cover-up. The last two years were under the aegis of the former, and now disgraced Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas, under whose administration this burden was accepted in silence. If only Acting Mayor Wallace had the capacity to be transparent over the conduct that he asserts he was ignorant of under the Thomas administration when he was Mount Vernon City Council President. But now as Acting Mount Vernon Mayor, when the financial burden exacted by New York City has been revealed to him a week ago, he is silent. His silence is inexcusable.
Even more egregious is Wallace’s admission that Mount Vernon taxpayers footed the bill to remove one SOTA family from an abandoned building last summer. This very fact proves that not only had the former Mayor Richard Thomas been aware of the burden the NYS program was placing on the City of Mount Vernon, but that Acting Mayor Wallace was aware of the travesty when he was the Mount Vernon City Council President and yet he chose to remain silent. And again, Wallace remained silent when the issue was again presented to him by over 60 people who informed him of the travesty last week.
In juxtaposition to Acting Mayor Wallace, The New York Post article advises that Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said he was considering suing the City of New York over the “secretive, unfair” program. The reality is it was not a secretive program. Many people in government were aware of it as was noted in the City of Mount Vernon by Acting Mayor Wallace 2 years ago and reminded again last week. Even if we would want to accept Mayor Spano’s designation that the program was “secretive” why then, when he recognized the program was “unfair” did he not initiate suing the City of New York over what he describes as the “secretive, unfair” program.
The City of Yonkers has turned to arresting the indigent in CoY. Yonkers Police have been ordered to issue summonses to the indigent. Those summonses are a fine that are not likely to be paid by people begging for food n the streets. The strategy is to catch them again and thereby issue a warrant against the,. That in itself is illegal. Only in Yonkers can YPD directives that are illegal be permitted. Perhaps an issue of pertinence to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
The cost of SOTA has totaled over $89 million. Housing is a concern, yet the greater concern are the mental health issues that are going untreated and permitted to exacerbate among an indigent population that requires mental health treatment and vocational training and counselors to assist this population toward a more efficacious outcome for them and society overall.
This is not rocket science.
This issue will be discussed on the Westchester On the Level broadcast of Monday, November 4, 2019 at 11am. Listen to the broadcast live or on demand by clicking onto this hyperlink. If you have a state or inquiry on this issue, you are welcome to call the broadcast at 347-205-9201. The hyperlink – http://tobtr.com/s/11564331
SPECIAL NOTE: A call to a Yonkers City Hall by was of a City Haller conduit that has the means to reach Mayor Mike Spano was place by this writer on Sunday, November 3rd at 12:38pm. I am uploading this Hezitorial at 4:25pm without ever receiving a call from Mayor Spano, or anyone else for that matter on this grave and financially burdensome concern for all Yonkersites. That is the travesty of Yonkers: It has yet to learn to celebrate positive news and information, and learn to contend with adverse circumstance honestly and intelligently, whether of its own doing or outside their purview. Yonkers spin cycle is broken.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you know something, say something. Your identity is maintained by every means possible, legally, as well as by my word of silence. Direct email to: eHezi@hush.com.
It seems I have erred in judgment. I have a backlog of pertinent concerns to which I have been informed. The General Election of November 5th will soon reveal winners and loser. I have promised myself, and the Yonkers Tribune readers that I will be working on at minimum one issue and /or concern every two or three days. I must admit I have been overwhelmed by that which must be completed for this publication, as well as other pertinent and even mundane issues. I sincerely apologize. Kindly, Hezi