By: Yitzchak Carroll | News  | 

NY State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi Discusses Homelessness at Wurzweiler

New York State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) spoke to a room of approximately 50 Wurzweiler School of Social Work students on Thursday, April 19, on the Wilf Campus. Hevesi, the Chairman of the State Assembly’s Social Services Committee, talked about the statewide issue of homelessness and other related topics.

Hevesi spoke of the policy and politics behind his recently-enacted initiative to stem the tide of homelessness throughout New York State. In the state budget passed this year, Hevesi successfully shepherded a groundbreaking measure named the Home Stability Support program that gives needy families rental subsidies and ultimately helps them stay in their homes. Hevesi also discussed strategies he is working on to tackle other social services issues, including preventative services for children in troubled households and culturally-sensitive shelters for victims of human trafficking.

“I visited Yeshiva’s campus to engage with students who are interested in legislative advocacy and civic engagement, and to detail how to lobby for legislation within the state legislature,” Hevesi said. “I hope that those in attendance were able to gain a better grasp on how they may effectively advocate for legislative initiatives, the resolve needed to implement legislation, and a more thorough comprehension of the legislative process in general.”

Hevesi was invited to YU by Director of Government Relations Jon Greenfield. In his previous position as Managing Director of Communications at Red Horse Strategies, a Brooklyn-based political consulting firm, Greenfield helped Hevesi’s Home Stability Support program gain traction and press coverage, leading up to its inclusion in this year’s state budget.

“So much of the work our students and faculty do at Wurzweiler is shaped by the laws passed in Albany,” Greenfield said. “Assembly Member Hevesi’s visit was a rare opportunity to hear firsthand how programs like Home Stability Support become state law, and what this means for social workers on the front lines of the homeless crisis.”

“He spoke very passionately, and as opposed to most politicians, it seemed that he had something real,” said Yossi Levin, a Wurzweiler student. “He has the honesty to speak about politics and reveal what is going on—and that gives a certain element of trust.”