Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2025 Executive Budget fails to restore funding to key children, youth and community development programs

City Hall, NY – Ahead of the City Council’s Executive Budget hearing with the Committee on Children and Youth and the Committee on Finance, the Council called for funding restorations and deeper investments to services provided through the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Specifically, the Council urged funding for childcare, youth development programs, services for runaway and homeless youth, adult literacy programs, the Office of Neighborhood Safety and other community development initiatives that have been left out of the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2025 Executive Budget.

The omitted budget priorities outlined by the Council were included in its Preliminary Budget Response released in April. They include:

DYCD Budget Cuts Restoration for Youth and Neighborhood Safety Programs

  • The Council has called for the mayor’s administration to restore $44.4 million in cuts to DYCD from the Mayor’s 2023 November Plan and Fiscal Year 2025 Preliminary Budget. The budget cuts include baseline reductions to some of its most utilized programs, like COMPASS that provides after-school enrichment to K-12 students and Summer Rising that provides K-8 students with enrichment opportunities in the summer months. The lack of funding also impacts programs supported by the Office of Neighborhood Safety, which advances community-driven solutions to public safety. 

Runaway and Homeless Youth Services Funding Restorations

  • As overall homelessness has increased in the city, the homeless youth shelter system has been particularly strained. The Council has called on the mayor’s administration to protect and strengthen critical services for runaway and homeless youth (RHY) by restoring cuts and expanding investments to key programs that serve the population. Specifically, the Council has identified the need to restore the $1.6 million cut to Housing Navigator positions that assist and connect homeless youth with safe housing and baseline the funding. Similarly, the $1.6 million cut to Peer Navigators that help homeless young people access services and support to achieve stability must be restored. Additionally, the Council urged an increased investment of $6.2 million to fund 100 additional shelter beds for RHY, so that young people in need of shelter are not turned away when seeking temporary housing options. The Crisis and Transitional Independent Living (TIL) Program also requires an additional $5.5 million to increase the per-bed rates of currently contracted programs to match their actual cost of operation. 

Promise NYC Childcare

  • The Council has called for $25 million in baselined funding to expand Promise NYC, which provides childcare for undocumented children and families. This would provide an extra $9 million, in addition to the $16 million allocated in the Fiscal Year 2024 adopted budget to cover 600-700 slots that was left out of the Mayor Fiscal Year 2025 Executive Budget. The program provides critical services for families, who are ineligible to access other childcare services because of their immigration status.

DYCD Adult Literacy Restorations

  • The Council has called for the Administration to restore and baseline the additional $10 million for adult literacy programs to recover its reductions to the programs, increase the per-student service rate, and expand the number of areas designated for program funding. Adult literacy programs provide adult basic, English language, high school equivalency, and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) education for over 12,000 New Yorkers. In a city home to over three million immigrants, who make up more than one-third of our population, these programs are vital to communities.  

“Our city’s budget must reflect the needs of our youth, particularly in the services provided by DYCD and ACS,” Council Member Althea Stevens, Chair of Committee on Children & Youth.  “The executive budget failed to include any of the Council’s requests for Homeless and Runaway youth, which is truly disheartening. Additionally, we need to ensure a restoration of funds for programs like Promise NYC and other programs in ACS, as they provide critical services. The increase in resources is essential in leading to a more equitable city and ensuring more opportunities for the children and youth of New York City to flourish.”

“There’s no better ‘return on investment’ than what we get when we invest in our kids,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, Chair of the Committee on Finance. “Cuts to the city’s support of youth and education programs are unnecessary and epitomize short-sighted fiscal thinking. We have a moral and existential obligation to ensuring a bright future for kids today, so they can take the reins and lead us tomorrow.”

“The Mayor’s Executive Budget once again shows that he is not committed to preventing countless youth from sleeping on the streets and to help them exit homelessness as quickly as possible. His failure to answer the pleas of the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) providers for critical funding to support their work is a slap in the face. Specifically, by him completely cutting the funding for the only positions dedicated to supporting youth in obtaining housing once again shows that he is all talk and no action when it comes to addressing the homelessness crisis in our City,” said Jamie Powlovich, Executive Director of the Coalition for Homeless Youth. “We applaud the leadership of the New York City Council for echoing our calls for funding to support the needs of youth experiencing homelessness and the DYCD RHY programs that serve them, and we call on the Mayor to do the same in the Fiscal Year 2025 budget.”

“Quality language services, adult literacy, and affordable childcare are critical to immigrants being able to get equal access to information and support at government agencies, keep their children safe while they work, and obtain the tools they need for integration and long-term success,” said Murad Awawdeh, President & CEO, New York Immigration Coalition. “The Promise NYC program has provided over 600 children a year with childcare, and we echo the City Council’s move to renew and expand this highly successful program to more families with a $25M investment. We applaud the City Council’s call to invest $5 million in a Community Interpreter Bank, which will help build bridges to opportunities, foster inclusion, and empower all New Yorkers to fully engage in their communities and establish a successful life in the city. Finally, we commend Speaker Adams, Finance Committee Chair Brannan, and the entire City Council for their call on the Mayor to provide an additional $10 million to restore and baseline the adult literacy programs that the Mayor has proposed to cut for FY25, which provide immigrants with a path to greater financial stability, integration, and community.”

“We believe in a vision of New York that works for everyone – whether your family arrived here last week or decades ago,” said Becca Telzak, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York. “That’s why it’s crucial that the City Council push back on Mayor Adams’s draconian budget cuts that severely impact our communities’ abilities to thrive in New York. We are grateful that the City Council is pushing  to restore cuts for adult literacy programs and for a minimum of $25 million for Promise NYC, which would provide access to child care services for undocumented children and their families. It is essential that this year’s adopted budget baseline $21.8 million for adult literacy programs to restore cuts and maintain services for over 16,000 students, which would require adding $11 million to the $10.8 million proposed in the mayor’s budget. These programs benefit all New Yorkers and it is financially short-sighted to not invest in them now.”