Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Real Estate Board of New York and more private contributors are assisting efforts to achieve “Functional Zero”
|Mayor Bill de Blasio|
NEW YORK—The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA) today announced two partnerships with the private sector – including the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and its members – totaling $750,000, that are helping to end homelessness within the veteran population in New York City.
“Every veteran should receive proper housing and the services they need to help them cope with their experiences in war,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I thank the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, REBNY and our folks in the Mayor’s Fund and MOVA who are leading the way towards functional zero.”
“A home gives us stability and a sense of self, and is the haven that is so necessary for healing. That’s why our city is so committed to making sure every veteran has a one,” said First Lady and Mayor’s Fund Board Chair Chirlane McCray. “I am so proud of the Mayor’s Fund and MOVA for championing this effort and thankful for private partners like Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and REBNY for stepping up and offering such generous support.”
“The New York City Council has consistently fought to improve services for our city’s veteran community. The brave men and women who served our country in the military should never have to live without housing,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Thanks to the Mayor’s Fund, as well as support from REBNY and Deutsche Bank, we’re moving closer to making that ideal a reality in New York City.”
“Every single man and woman who has risked his or her life for our nation deserves the dignity of a permanent home. Housing our homeless veterans is a responsibility that we all share as Americans,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships. “We are so grateful to the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, REBNY and its members, and our other private partners for helping us to achieve the Mayor’s pledge of ending veterans’ homelessness and for supporting our continued success.”
“Thanks to the bold leadership of Mayor de Blasio and the unprecedented collaboration with our public and private partners, New York City has reduced veteran homelessness by 90 percent in the last five years. We are grateful to NYSAFAH and all the individual landlords and providers that helped us get to this point, but some of our hardest work still lies ahead of us. Thanks to Deutsche Bank and REBNY, we now have funding for the difficult work of sustaining these gains and ensuring that the veterans we've housed stay housed,” said Retired Brigadier General, Dr. Loree Sutton, Commissioner of the Mayor’s office of Veterans’ Affairs.
“We have effectively ended chronic veteran homelessness in the city, but we recognize that there is still much to be accomplished to assist New Yorkers who have put their lives at risk to protect our nation,” said Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks. “These partnerships between the private and public sectors will help advance our commitment to helping New York City veterans obtain permanent housing and the additional supportive services they so desperately need and deserve.”
The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to MOVA, the Mayor’s Fund and Enterprise Community Partners to support the City’s efforts to meet and maintain Functional Zero, the national standard for ending veteran homelessness and rapidly rehousing all new veterans that enter the shelter system. The funds will go towards both direct services for veterans as well as system planning to sustain the City’s efforts to get to Functional Zero. In addition, the Mayor’s Fund has raised $500,000 from private partners, including the Real Estate Board of New York and its members, to provide financial assistance to veterans who successfully transitioned from shelters to permanent housing at the end of 2015.
These partnerships reflect not only the de Blasio administration’s ongoing commitment to supporting homeless veterans citywide, but also the dedication of New York City’s private sector to assist the administration’s critical efforts.
The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation’s grant is the first private commitment received by the City specifically to help sustain this incredible achievement of ending chronic veteran homelessness, which includes veterans who have been without permanent housing for at least a year, or have experienced homelessness at least four times over three years. Working with Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the Mayor’s Fund and MOVA will use Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation’s funding to implement a new program with three goals:
- Develop and staff the Veterans’ Transition Assistance Program, an aftercare program that is dedicated to keeping veterans who were placed in permanent housing from recidivating into the shelter system or street homelessness.
- Engage in strategic planning to meet and maintain Functional Zero, work that is now underway thanks to the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation grant. This award funded a kickoff planning summit in February with more than 100 people in attendance, including representatives from seven City agencies, key federal partners, dozens of nonprofit colleagues and recently housed veterans.
- Develop the Coordinated Assessment Placement System, new technology that will help streamline the process of placing homeless individuals and their families in permanent housing, including our veterans.
The Mayor’s Fund has also launched the Veterans Housing Initiative, a public-private partnership to provide financial assistance to veterans who have successfully transitioned from the shelter system to permanent housing in order to encourage and empower them to begin their lives in their new homes. This initiative is also supporting the City’s efforts to meet and maintain “Functional Zero” by offering a bevy of tools to facilitate veterans accessing and maintaining their housing.
The Mayor’s Fund has raised $500,000 from private partners in for the Veterans Housing Initiative, with $450,000 coming from the Real Estate Board of New York and its members. Those members include:
- Jeffrey Gural of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
- Neil Rubler of the Olnick Organization
- Donald Zucker of Donald Zucker Company
- Peter Kalikow of H.J. Kalikow & Co., LLC
Working with the Human Resources Administration, the Mayor’s Office for Veterans Affairs and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, the Mayor’s Fund is using a portion of the Veterans Housing Initiative to distribute Target gift cards valued at up to $1,000 for eligible veterans who were placed in permanent housing from November 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015.
According to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of veterans staying in shelters or on the streets has plummeted by 90 percent since 2011. The daily census of homeless veterans in the city is now 477, down from 4,677 five years ago. In 2015 alone, the City placed more than 1,000 veterans in permanent housing across the five boroughs. So far, in 2016, the City has placed 437 veterans in permanent housing.
“Ending chronic homelessness among veterans required our city to channel every possible resource toward an aggressive solution. The Mayor’s Fund is proud to have brought the private sector and our city agencies to the table to once again make tremendous progress on one of the most compelling and urgent challenges facing our city,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “We look forward to continuing to explore roles for our partners to help our city make a tangible difference in the lives of New Yorkers.”
“Deutsche Bank is proud to join the City of New York and Enterprise Community Partners in a shared goal to end homelessness among veterans in the five boroughs,” said Gary Hattem, President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “Through philanthropic initiatives, Deutsche Bank is committed to addressing homelessness across New York City’s most at-risk populations – domestic violence survivors, LGBTQ youth, formerly incarcerated individuals and their families, as well as veterans.”
“Taking action to support and find homes for those who have served our country is of paramount importance and we all must be part of the solution,” said John H. Banks, III, President of REBNY. “Ending veteran homelessness is an achievable goal. We commend the administration for their efforts as we work together with members of The Real Estate Board of New York to address this critical issue, and we applaud the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation for their commitment to this worthy cause.”
“No veteran who has bravely protected our country should experience homelessness, and providing affordable housing with critical services is the best way to ensure they remain stably housed,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “Thanks to the generous grant from the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and our invaluable partnership with the Mayor's Office of Veteran Affairs, we'll be able to provide veterans with services they need to restart their lives, and develop and implement innovative systems to quickly and effectively house all who experience homelessness.”
“As a veteran, I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s continuous efforts to combat veteran’s homelessness. No veteran should have to return from service without a place to call home. We owe it to them to provide resources that will provide them with a sense of security and dignity,” said Congressman Charles Rangel.
“We owe veterans more than symbolic praise – we owe them dignity and support, always,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I commend Deutsche Bank, REBNY and the other private funders partnering with our government to give veterans the support they deserve and to ensure that we achieve the goal of ending veteran homelessness in the five boroughs.”
“The courageous men and women who have defended our freedom deserve more than a salute; they have earned our full support in their efforts to have a meaningful quality of life upon their return home. I applaud the de Blasio administration for their ongoing work to end homelessness within our veteran population, and I thank the City's partners in the private sector that are showing through their financial commitment that they respect these heroes and their sacrifices,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“More veterans call Queens home than any other borough, and we honor their service to our nation and their sacrifices for our freedoms,” said Borough President Melinda Katz. “This administration has demonstrated its commitment with innovative ways to better serve our veterans, from elevating veterans' affairs from a mayoral office into full departmental status, to unveiling of the first, newly-opened MOVA Satellite Office in Queens, to public-private partnerships like this to get to Functional Zero.”
“It is very encouraging to see the public and private sectors work together to address the issue of homelessness among veterans,” said Assembly Member Michael DenDekker, Chair of the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs. “This initiative is a very good step toward ensuring that all our veterans receive the housing services and the respect that they deserve.”
“It is a tragedy so many veterans, after facing countless dangers overseas, return home only to find themselves in a battle of another kind. Our veterans deserve our unrelenting support. While the City has made great strides towards addressing veteran homelessness, we have plenty of room for growth, and this initiative is a serious step towards closing that gap. By ensuring access to permanent housing with supportive services, we can begin to create a stable, safe and nurturing environment where veterans can begin to heal,” said Council Member Steve Levin.