Increase Needs Allowance for Shelter Residents

The City Bar supports legislation that would increase the cash grant provided to a particular subset of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, those individuals and families living in shelters which serve three meals a day (A.8061 (AM L. Rosenthal)). The amended law would increase the “personal needs” and “special needs” allowances for these shelter residents, with abysmally low cash levels set over 20 years ago, and provide public assistance to this population at the same levels established for those who reside in facilities that do not serve meals. The need for cash aid is the same for shelter residents whether they receive meals or not, particularly in this time of great economic hardship. An increase to the needs allowances would mean that children living in shelters, their parents, and other individuals experiencing homelessness would for the first time in years receive a cash grant that will enable them to purchase many of the important items needed for personal hygiene, including diapers, shampoo, menstrual products, over the counter medicine, and other necessities, such as clothing and laundry-related products.