New York Daily News
By Ariel Zwang
August 27, 2015
Manhattan: Instead of using homeless people, including youth who have faced horrific abuse, as political pawns, shouldn’t we focus on helping them (“Begs to differ, ” Aug. 26)? As an organization that provides a range of services to homeless youth, we are deeply disheartened that those experiencing street homelessness continue to be vilified.
The young people Safe Horizon helps each day in our shelter and drop-in centers are survivors who have escaped child abuse, experienced severe poverty and often endured human trafficking and other crimes. It takes great courage just to survive. And to advise that law enforcement “chase ’em out of the city, ” as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani did, is grossly misguided.
Instead of the political mudslinging, let’s strengthen the long-term supports that work: safe and affordable housing, treatments for trauma and pathways to self-sufficiency. We know that when homeless youth have these supports, they can thrive.
-Ariel Zwang, chief executive officer, Safe Horizon
This letter to the editor also appeared in the Aug. 27 print edition of the New York Daily News.