LAS: Shelter Rule Changes for Families Should Be Permanent

The Legal Aid Society is part of a broad coalition calling on the City to make pandemic rule changes permanent for families applying to homeless shelters, as reported by City Limits.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) streamlined their cumbersome intake process when COVID-19 hit and advocates want to make sure those changes stay in place.

“Families, especially those with minor children, need stability, which cannot be obtained when they must pack up and move their belongings every 10 days, or worse, when being forced to sleep outside,” reads a letter from the coalition to DSS Commissioner Steven Banks, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “School and work schedules cannot be maintained, jobs cannot be kept, and the uncertainty creates conditions rife for charges of educational neglect.”

While DSS says it has no plans to return to its old policy, which often required entire families to make multiple visits to a Bronx intake center, advocates are asking that the new rules be codified as official policy.