A Queens lawmaker wants the state comptroller to take a look at the books of the city’s top homeless shelter providers.
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi is asking Thomas DiNapoli to audit 12 nonprofits responsible for housing and helping homeless New Yorkers and probe whether taxpayer money is being spent efficiently as homelessness rates continue to climb.
Hevesi, the chair of his chamber’s social services committee, said he’s witnessed a multitude of problems plaguing shelters in recent years, including exorbitant salaries for top executives and facilities with major safety and maintenance concerns.
“While some providers use all of their resources appropriately and provide exemplary services, it is also clear that many providers are failing to achieve their mission. In fact, the overall average length of shelter stays has increased, as has the rate of clients subsequently returning after leaving,” the Democrat wrote to the comptroller in a letter obtained by the Daily News.
In January, Coalition for the Homeless found that a record number of people — nearly 64,000 — were living in city shelters. The total has fluctuated since, but as of September, there were 62,391 homeless, including 14,962 families with 22,083 children, according to the advocacy group.
More than 114,000 students in city public and charter schools — one out of every ten — was homeless during the 2018-2019 school year, according to a survey released last month by the education nonprofit Advocates for Children.
As the number of people relying on city shelters has grown, so too has the amount of issues at the facilities, Hevesi said.
“There are several providers whose services strip the dignity of their clients and put clients in dangerous situations and that shouldn’t be occurring with these huge sums of taxpayer money that we’re putting into this industry,” the lawmaker told The News.