These recommendations follow reports of seven homeless New Yorkers confirmed for COVID-19 

NEW YORK, NY – New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the General Welfare Committee, are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Social Services Commissioner (DSS) Steven Banks to protect New Yorkers who experience street homelessness or homelessness in shelters as well as New Yorkers who rely on public assistance in the midst of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent to Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Banks, Speaker Johnson and Chair Levin called on DSS to implement measures to protect vulnerable New Yorkers and the staff that serve them during this COVID-19 crisis, including: installing hand-washing stations, portable toilets and showers throughout the City; increase the number of hospital and isolation beds; and expand access to rental assistance. This is a matter of public health. By taking these extra steps to protect those experiencing homelessness, we are also working to keep all New Yorkers safer. This virus knows no boundaries, and every effort must be taken to keep it from spreading.