Homeward NYC participates in #JustPay action and rally
On May 25, 2023, nonprofits across the city participated in the Human Services Council’s citywide A Day Without Human Services action to secure a 6.5% cost of living adjustment in the City budget.
Homeward NYC chose to participate in this action and pause some of our services for the day. Without significant investment from the City in our workforce, we are worried that many nonprofit service providers will close their programs next year—impacting workers and the communities we serve. Nonprofit service providers under City contract (like Homeward NYC) provide the vast majority of the homeless services and social services needed by the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
Without human services, what would our communities become? We don’t want to imagine it, but it might become reality if we can’t staff our programs due to the City’s poverty wages. Without Homeward NYC, 80 women and children would be homeless tonight… 60 LGBTQ+ young adults would be homeless tonight… and 40 seniors would be without affordable housing and services.
Mayor Adams’ executive budget proposal did not include any funding toward a cost of living adjustment for workers in the human services sector. Eight in ten human services workers in New York City are people of color, and 60% qualify for at least one form of government assistance.
The rally and pause in services were designed to include our community in the fight for fair wages for the essential workers we all rely on. We did not close lifesaving services and were careful to make sure the people who use our services still get the quality care our programs offer. Clients and program participants are sending in emails in support because they love the workers who run programs and want them to stay—and to be paid a livable wage.
Homeward NYC staff joined thousands of human services workers at City Hall Park. Workers shared their stories, elected officials voiced their support, and crowds chanted, “What do we want? Just Pay! When do we want it? Now!”
Workers across the human services sector held handmade and preprinted signs including “Just Pay” and “Imagine we’re not here” and “I deserve just pay.” Our staff carried signs reading, “Homeward NYC supports #JustPay for human services workers.”
Thank you to everyone who participated in the rally, voiced their support, and contacted their elected officials. We are stronger together.
Learn more about the Just Pay Campaign at www.justpayny.org