District News

How to Best Help Homeless Individuals

Jul 27, 2017
How to Best Help Homeless Individuals
As we all know, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of chronically homeless individuals and panhandlers on the streets throughout the City, including Lincoln Square. The Lincoln Square BID has, over the years, reported these conditions daily to 311. The BID also keeps in regular contact with the various city agencies and nonprofit partners that are tasked with all outreach in Manhattan. 
Our data shows that, for the month of June, we saw our highest number of homeless reports year-to-date and a 34% increase over June of last year. In light of this, we recently met with representatives from the aforementioned city agencies and nonprofit organizations. We came away with some assurances that they would do some intensive outreach over the next few weeks.
We also asked how our community could help and the following was suggested: If you see homeless individuals, please report the situation to 311. Outreach is conducted daily and throughout the night, so your call will notify an outreach worker and connect them with the homeless individuals. You may make a report anonymously and you can download the user friendly 311 app.
Please do not give money to homeless individuals and panhandlers. Giving money is a temporary fix and does not help an individual get off the streets. In fact, giving money encourages people to stay in a particular location. When you contact 311, your report will prompt a visit from an outreach worker either from Goddard Riverside or from the NYPD who will be able to present options for food and shelter. Although many chronically homeless individuals are resistant to coming inside for various reasons, repeat visits have helped build relationships and trust,and have resulted in some success. 
DHS also has a helpful pocket guide with some key services listed. You can view a copy of the guide here and familiarize yourself with the information. 
Please consider notifying 311 when you see someone in need.