Miracle House Incorporated is a group of at least eight so-called halfway houses. According to their fliers, the organization provides a "safe and sober environment," but both the New York City Fire Department and the Department of Buildings beg to differ.
According to these agencies, none of the buildings are certified to be anything but two or three-family houses, and the Fire Department has issued vacate orders to several of them for dangerous conditions related to overcrowding.
The Department of Homeless Services denies these charges, but Councilman Bill de Blasio, who's running for public advocate, proposed a bill to the City Council Wednesday that would make DHS responsible for shelter residents, even after they move out.
"This literally would just prohibit the city from sending anyone to a location known to be unsafe or overcrowded or to have a large number of violations of the building code," said de Blasio. "This is information that's readily available. There's no reason the department couldn't track this carefully and send people only to safe places."
The Coalition for the Homeless strongly supports the councilman's proposal.