Mayor Nutter held a press conference this morning to tout the administration's anti-homelessness efforts. Here's the release:
MAYOR'S OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
Thursday, May 28, 2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAYOR NUTTER REPORTS BACK ON HOMELESSNESS PLAN, ANNOUNCES CONTINUING PARTNERSHIP WITH PHA
Philadelphia experiences 4.4% drop in homeless population since launch of plan
Philadelphia, May 28 – The City of Philadelphia published today the Year One Status Report on the Mayor's Initiative to address homelessness in Philadelphia. The results include a 4.4% decrease in Philadelphia's overall homeless population since the initiative was launched in May 2008 and an increase in the City's permanent housing capacity of 51% for families and 26% for singles.
Speaking at a press conference on Dilworth Plaza on the one year anniversary of the launch of the initiative Mayor Nutter said, "We have provided opportunity to many who lacked it, helped those who needed assistance, and given a second chance to those who were down on their luck. With the steadfast support and partnership of the Philadelphia Housing Authority and champions from the provider and advocacy communities, hundreds of formerly homeless people in this city are now living in safe, permanent housing. That is something we can all be proud of."
Mayor Nutter also announced that the Philadelphia Housing Authority, under the leadership of Executive Director Carl Greene, will provide another 500 housing opportunities this year to address the issue of homelessness in Philadelphia. "This program is a shining example of what can be achieved when tough challenges are viewed as common goals," said Mr. Greene. "We have seen that when we join efforts we can address great needs, and we look forward to continuing this very important work."
Mayor Nutter and Mr. Greene were joined at the press conference by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and many from the provider and advocacy communities.
Councilwoman Blackwell said, "A partnership with our city housing agencies and PHA is a win win for us all. To provide additional housing to people in need is at the core of our responsibility to improve the quality of life of those who live in and visit our city. I commend Mayor Nutter and Carl Green for their vision and leadership"
Sister Mary Scullion from Project H.O.M.E. said, "Mayor Nutter's commitment of 700 units of permanent housing was a strategic step forward in ending homelessness in the City of Philadelphia. We applaud the Nutter administration's commitment to expanding the availability of permanent affordable housing for adults and families who are homeless."
Gloria Guard of the People's Emergency Center (PEC) said, "We are thrilled with the consistent, predictable process for placement into permanent housing for families. We look forward to the coming year and the provision of housing choice vouchers for families as well as the continuation and expansion of services to children."