DHS seeks new nonprofit service providers to manage cluster shelters as first step toward phasing BEDCO out over coming months
The NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) today announced that it will end the use of Bushwick Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO) as a nonprofit service provider sheltering homeless New Yorkers in hotels and cluster sites. Over the coming months, BEDCO’s hotel and cluster-site portfolio will be completely eliminated and/or transitioned to other providers—the result of an ongoing comprehensive review of all aspects of shelter operations. Last year, DHS took steps to end the use of two nonprofit service providers with a history of noncompliance and serious shelter conditions issues, terminating contracts with We Always Care and transitioning the Housing Bridge portfolio to new providers. These changes were made after last spring’s 90-day review of homeless services, during which time DHS took a fresh look at City shelter policies and contractors and proposed critical reforms, many of which had long been called for by advocates. This was the first such review to happen in decades.
“As part of the 90-day review of homeless services, we are aggressively reforming decades-old policies and practices, including ending relationships with providers who have had a history of serious shelter conditions or other issues,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “Wherever possible, we are working to keep New Yorkers in their homes and out of shelter through a prevention-first strategy. But for our homeless neighbors in shelter, we are making an unprecedented number of changes to dramatically improve shelter conditions and services. Last year alone, we eliminated more than 10,000 shelter building code violations that had built up over many years.”
Today, as the first step toward phasing BEDCO out of these sites, DHS released a negotiated acquisition to secure new providers for all BEDCO-run cluster shelter locations. Over the coming months, DHS will take other measures to phase out BEDCO at hotels where the City provides shelter to homeless New Yorkers.