My name is Cathy Bernstein and I am running for Congress against Jerry Nadler this November 3rd, 2020.
I have lived on the Upper West Side for the past 35 years, and am witnessing the city decline again due to the progressive policies of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Congressman Jerry Nadler. As a fellow constituent, I care deeply about the quality of life in the 10th Congressional District.
Today, I would like to address the single most pressing issue facing our community is homelessness.
My proposals are listed below... but, first, I need to discuss the events that occurred this summer on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
The UWS has an exceptionally large homeless population that has been and is currently living on the street. The majority of them are suffering from mental illness and/or substance abuse issues. In addition, we are home to many homeless shelters.
This summer, our elected officials using FEMA money (Federal) moved more homeless men into 3 different hotels in a ten-block area on the UWS. Sadly, there was extraordinarily little oversight and care for the well being of the homeless or the existing community of elders and children.
The Hotel Belleclaire and the Lucerne both have permanent, long -term elderly populations that have resided in the hotel for years; their health was not taken into consideration. They expressed concern as the new residents did not wear masks or socially distance. This is the segment of the population that is the most vulnerable and should be safeguarded at all costs.
At the Hotel Belleclaire, 14 new guests were registered Sex Offenders.13 of the 14 raped children, boys and girls as young as age 4. This hotel is within 1000 feet of 2 playgrounds and 3 schools. Please view my video on this story on twitter@CathyCongress.
At the Hotel Lucerne, 283 men were moved into the hotel many of whom suffered serious substance abuse issues. Many of the men came from the Washington Jefferson Hotel on West 51st Street after tension in the Midtown community. This is where the game of hot potato began.
Homeless who suffer from substance abuse issues require a closed hospital setting where they can get proper treatment/ detox. That is true compassion.
Putting men with severe drug issues into hotels (4-star hotels) where they are not required to attend any drug treatment doesn’t help them overcome their addiction and the senseless deaths from overdoses at the hotel bear that out. If our elected officials are adamant that the men should be housed in a hotel, instead of a hospital, why not use the hotels that are empty and 1/3 of the cost at LaGuardia or JFK? The extra money can be used for mandatory AA and NA meetings and job training. Remember, this is taxpayer money that FEMA was using... this is your tax money. Your elected officials are public servants and should serve the community’s needs and safety first.
While Jerry Nadler has “led a delegation to inspect ICE detention facilities containing separated families”, I challenge him to pay the same attention to his district.... Visit the West Side of Manhattan and view our homeless US citizens living in filth, eating out of garbage cans and being preyed on at night.
We also have the right to a safe environment where there is not aggressive panhandling, homeless encampments, shooting up, public defecation, encased mattresses for bed bugs ripped open for sleeping, and public sex.
The Liberal view is that being homeless is a right to be protected and that we should eliminate the stigma and educate the public.
• A significant increase in federal funding for the 10th Congressional. Work immediately with HUD/FEMA for special emergency measures to increase the budget for the homeless in providing urgently needed support for shelters, housing and mental health services.
• Eliminate the IMD Exclusion Rule of Medicaid Permanently. (IMD Exclusion Rule – restricts any use of Federal Medicaid funds to pay for psychiatric care hospitals known as “Institutions for Mental Disease” for individuals from the age of 22 to 64 unless the facility has 16 beds or less and/or the stay is 15 days and less).
• The background was that Congress wanted the states to meet their financial responsibility, but with NYC now housing the largest homeless population in the country, the IMD Exclusion Rule of Medicaid has placed the homeless in the 10th Congressional in precarious conditions with insufficient funds to adequately provide for their needs.
• Enforce Kendra’s Law - Courts can order individuals with serious mental illness who are a danger to others or themselves to stay in treatment.
To learn more about my proposals, please check out my website: bernsteinforcongress.com/homeless.html