Homelessness Crisis

The Story

Throughout his term in office, Mayor de Blasio has stressed the importance of mental health. But it turns out that the mayor is mostly interested in programs for the “worried well,” not treatment for those suffering from truly severe mental illness. Meantime, the prevalence of distressed, mentally ill people on city streets is worrying more and more New Yorkers and emerging as a significant challenge for the de Blasio administration.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Jail: Owing to deinstitutionalization and a reduction of beds in state psychiatric hospitals, the number of mentally ill New Yorkers in jail has increased significantly. Read more.

  2. Housing: Advocates want mentally ill people to live independently, but many cannot manage that challenge. Read more.

  3. Madhouse: Lacking options for treatment or care, many mentally ill people have moved into the subways, where their behavior can terrify passengers. Read more.

“Mental health advocates and civil libertarians should abandon ideology and embrace science. Being psychotic or delusional is not a 'right' to be protected—it is an illness to be treated.”

DJ Jaffe, Manhattan Institute adjunct fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Bad Medicine By DJ Jaffe (August 5, 2015)

“The de Blasio administration’s strategy for dealing with mental illness is to ignore the most seriously ill.”

And in other news...

“Her death reverberated throughout New York City, among stunned parents who often traverse crowded subway stairs with strollers and among people who are disabled and regularly encounter an inaccessible transit system.”