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54 mentally ill New Yorkers experiencing homelessness taken off city streets in past year, Mayor Eric Adams says

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NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams says 54 people have been taken off city streets in the year since he announced a plan to involuntarily hospitalize New Yorkers with mental illnesses who were experiencing homelessness.

“We acknowledge our moral obligation to help them get the treatment and the care they need, and we’re not going to pretend anything other than that is acceptable,” Adams said Wednesday.

Those 54 people have been moved into stable housing or medical centers.

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In 2022, the mayor issued the controversial directive to first responders, outreach workers and city hospital employees, saying state law permits them to provide care to people whose mental illness makes them a danger to themselves or prevents them from meeting their own basic needs.

The city set up a tele-consult hotline so that first responders and other workers could discuss the situation with a clinical expert to determine whether or not the person should be brought in for an evaluation.

The plan was met with criticism by homeless advocates across the city, who felt the plan focused on short-term symptoms of homelessness rather than the root causes.

The mayor’s office also said Wednesday that homeless outreach staff referred 70% more people living on city streets to shelter during this fiscal year compared to 2022. Additionally, about 1,000 people were moved from Safe Haven and stabilization beds to permanent housing during this fiscal year.

Source: CBS

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