Media Mentions

Fox 5 NY: More homeless outreach workers trained

Outreach Julian Fitzgerald speaks to Fox 5 NY

Click the image above to watch the story on Fox 5 NY.

Video Transcript:

Anchor 1: More people are hitting the streets to help New York City's homeless problem.

Anchor 2: Sharon Crowley shows how new outreach workers are being trained to help make a difference.

Crowley: A group of homeless men gather on a mattress on Wycoff Street in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Like many of the city’s homeless, they've set up camp outside, refusing to go inside into one of the city shelters.

Mayor de Blasio: We're going to increase constantly our efforts to inspect, to make repairs, and to remove from the inventory entirely buildings that shouldn't be there or providers that shouldn't be there.

Crowley: Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted the city has made it a priority to improve shelter conditions. At the end of last year, the comptroller issued a scathing audit of city shelters. It showed a majority were filthy and dangerous. Since then the Mayor has instituted several programs, including HOME-STAT.

The non-profit Breaking Ground is part of that program and today hosted a training session for new outreach workers. The group is under contract with the city's Department of Homeless Services and has hired more than 140 new workers.

Julian Fitzgerald: Engaging individuals, these homeless individuals, is a very profound work. Society as a whole, we've neglected, we've shunned, ignored, even abused these individuals.

Crowley: Julian Fitzgerald started with the program three weeks ago and today, he and others are learning more about how to deal with the mentally ill homeless on the streets. He says he finds this work extremely rewarding.

Fitzgerald: They deserve to be loved, helped, protected, respected.

Crowley: The non-profit Breaking Ground has the ultimate goal of getting homeless families off the streets for good. And since 1990 Breaking Ground has helped more than 12,000 people move into permanent housing, which is the best scenario. Thank you.