Update on The Staten Island Ferry and more...

Friday 22 May 2020




NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that beginning this afternoon, Thursday, May 21st, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Staten Island Ferry will return to 30-minute service frequency during the morning (5:00am – 9:00am) and evening (3:30pm – 7:30pm) rush hours.


“The Staten Island Ferry keeps this city running,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Restoring half-hour service during morning and evening rush hours will help essential workers fight this crisis on the front lines, and I’m grateful for every ferry worker’s efforts to offer Staten Islanders safe and reliable transit throughout this crisis.” 


“This return to half-hour service during AM and PM rush hours comes as ridership continues to tick upwards, and providing a safe and dependable way for our frontline workers in this fight remains essential,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. “I want to thank all of the dedicated ferry staff who have performed an outstanding job of keeping the Staten Island Ferry running and clean throughout this crisis.”


“As Staten Island Ferry ridership rebounds and our crews are increasingly healthy and back on the job, we pleased to restore more frequent rush-hour service — a hopeful sign that New York City is starting to recover from COVID-19,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We want to thank Staten Islanders for their understanding during this crisis and thank our dedicated ferry staff for all their hard work.”


On March 30, declining ridership led the City to reduce Staten Island Ferry service to hourly AM/PM rush hour service. Ridership has increased in recent weeks, averaging about 8,000 passengers per day. More employees healthy and able to return to work allows DOT to adequately staff increased vessels during the rush hours and continue to clean vessels between runs.


As ridership continues to increase, passengers must wear face coverings at all times while in the terminals and on board the ferryboats. Face coverings will be available for passengers who arrive to ferry terminals without one. Queues have been set up in both terminals, signage has been erected, and continuous announcements will be made in the terminals and on the vessels reminding passengers to wear masks.


The ferry should not be used for recreational or sightseeing purposes during the city’s fight against COVID-19. Staying home and avoiding all but essential travel remains the best way to help stop the spread of the disease.


“Restoring the Staten Island Ferry’s half-hour service is a solid step in the right direction for Staten Island, as we weather this crisis and eventually begin to recover and rebuild from COVID-19,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “It’s important that we invest in our public transportation systems, like the Staten Island Ferry, which are so essential for our frontline workers and all Staten Islanders.”


“The Staten Island Ferry is a representation of our borough, and the increase in ridership shows how Staten Island is bouncing back from this crisis. Borough President Oddo and the rest of the Staten Island delegation have fought and we will not stop fighting until ferry service is fully restored as ridership increases,” said Rep. Max Rose.


“The data does not lie. And the data show the need for increased Staten Island Ferry service during these times, so adding these trips is the right thing. Our being able to point to the city's own data as we made the case for this service was a convincing argument. I am very appreciative for the recent conversations I had with Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg, and rest assured my eyes remain fixed on 24/7, 365 half hour service so these discussions will be ongoing,” said Staten Island Borough President Jim Oddo.


“I’m glad to see the Mayor is adjusting the schedule to increase service now that we are have flattened the curve and more people are riding the ferry. It is important for social distancing that we continue to monitor the ridership and increase it accordingly as the weather gets nicer and the city begins to reopen,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.

“I am glad to hear that City Hall and the Department of Transportation kept their promise to restore half-hour service on the Staten Island Ferry during the morning and evening rush hours — thank you to Mayor de Blasio for making this happen. We still have a long way to go in terms of beating COVID-19, but perhaps this is a sign that things are slowly starting to improve,” said Assemblyman Michael Riley.

“This partial return to half-hour service is a welcome step in the right direction that will make a significant impact on the commutes of hundreds of Staten Islanders. As we continue to take steps toward reopening businesses, it is essential that our transportation system remain a step ahead of openings so that residents can commute with the greatest safety and efficiency that our infrastructure will allow,” said Council Member Debi Rose.




In partnership with Sanctuary for Families, program will provide immediate financial assistance to survivors experiencing safety, economic, and housing challenges



NEW YORK— Mayor de Blasio today announced a new emergency financial relief program for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence to provide funding for immediate safety, economic, and housing needs currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with Sanctuary for Families, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) will leverage its network of service providers to distribute funds to directly support survivors in need across the city. Funding for this program is provided by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. 


"Home should be a safe place for everyone in our city and we will not accept any other reality, now or after this crisis. We want any New Yorker experiencing violence at home to know that help is always available. New York City is here for survivors and we will continue to find new ways to ensure they are safe and supported,” said Mayor de Blasio. 


“For the first time, New York City is putting critical dollars directly in the hands of survivors to help them find safety and stability during this unprecedented crisis,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Domestic violence leads to devastating immediate and long-term effects on families, children and survivors for generations that follow. This innovative approach can help create positive outcomes for survivors and break patterns of abuse and trauma.”


Aligned with the City’s efforts to help those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis, this first-of-its-kind initiative will respond to the acute and unique needs of survivors. The pilot program will deliver “micro-grants” ranging in value based on need and follows evidence-based funding models that have emerged as powerful economic empowerment tools, particularly helpful in mitigating risk factors for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. The micro-grant model will enable service providers to file for funds on behalf of survivors directly with Sanctuary for Families, speeding access to funds. The program will utilize best practices from other successful models building upon existing City investments for survivors by opening a new stream of funds.


ENDGBV and its partners continue to inform the public about its services and COVID-19 resources through its agency website, its “NYC HOPE resources directory, and social media to ensure survivors know that help is available. The Office also created Resources for Survivors During COVID-19 – a page dedicated to COVID-19 resources and information. Helpful information on resources is sent out regularly through the Notify NYC system and the City’s LinkNYC system. Multi-lingual advertisements for NYC HOPE appear on Google Search, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and will also be featured in convenience stores, check cashing locations, laundromats, pharmacies and grocery stores. 


Last week, the City launched an ENDGBV COVID-19 response work group to prevent acts of domestic gender-based violence and best support survivors during the pandemic. The work group includes a diverse group of twenty providers representing multi-disciplinary services for survivors across the City including shelter, legal services, and counseling and mental health services. Providers from both small and large community-based organizations have representation in the work group, with an emphasis on those serving various communities citywide.

      The Mayor’s Fund is continuing to pursue additional funds to enhance this crucial resource through grassroots fundraising and partnerships with the philanthropic and business communities. Anyone can contribute to the program through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.


“The COVID crisis compounds the challenges faced by survivors of domestic and gender-based violence,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Raul Perea-Henze. “The de Blasio administration is committed to empowering all survivors with the tools to meet their immediate needs for safety, stability and economic security. This innovative pilot program achieves just that.”


“COVID-19 puts into sharp focus the vulnerabilities that many people in our city face every day, especially gender-based violence survivors; and it highlights the barriers and challenges that we know keep people from seeking help and finding safety,” said ENDGBV Commissioner Cecile Noel. “This funding will provide crucial support for survivors. The City is here for survivors during this crisis and beyond, and will continue to work to identify best practices and innovative approaches to enhance its services.”

“Every New York deserves to feel safe in their home and community, but too often that isn’t the case for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence,” said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “During these trying times, it is more crucial than ever to get resources into the hands of those who need them most. The Mayor’s Fund is grateful that, through our trusted network of partners, we’re able to implement this innovative model to help survivors achieve stability.”

“The COVID-19 health crisis has exposed an already vulnerable population to further peril as stay-at-home orders compound economic hardship for survivors of gender based violence,” said Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families. “Sanctuary for Families is proud to be working hand-in-hand with ENDGBV and the Mayor’s Fund to ensure that survivors have access to the resources they need to maintain their safety as well as economic and housing stability. We applaud the City’s efforts to mitigate risk factors for survivors of domestic violence through the distribution of micro grants, which will be a powerful tool in helping survivors across New York City weather this crisis.”


“Even more so during this pandemic, survivors and victims of domestic violence find themselves in need of logistical, financial and emotional support,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity. “The micro-grants that the City will be providing are a critical stepping stone for survivors, helping to make the first steps toward safety more possible."


“As many New Yorkers are struggling with financial hardship and instability as a result of COVID-19, the pandemic can have an even more devastating effect on survivors of domestic and gender based violence,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “I commend the administration for providing this support at such a crucial time and we must continue to work with advocates, CBOs, and our non-profit partners to support, empower and uplift survivors during these challenging times.” 


“As COVID-19 struck our city, New Yorkers were encouraged to stay home to protect themselves and others,” said Council Member Farah N. Louis, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “However, we know that, for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, staying home can be even more life-threatening. As a fellow survivor and a legislator who represents vulnerable populations, I believe that the flex-funding initiative is a step in the right direction to empower survivors and an innovative way to supplement any financial losses due to the coronavirus outbreak. These micro-grants will be vital in helping survivors achieve economic and housing stability necessary to shelter in place.”


“The challenges experienced by victims and survivors of domestic and gender based violence are many,” said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, Chair of the Senate Social Services Committee. "Currently, remaining indoors at home to mitigate the risks of contracting COVID-19, puts spouses, partners and children at an exponentially greater risk for physical, psychological and emotional harm.  This new pilot program offers a promising model to meet survivors' varying levels of need.  Thank you for advancing this important effort."


“As we advise those who can to stay home, we must recognize that for some, home is not a safe place," said State Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, Chair of the Assembly Social Services Committee. “I commend the Mayor and the City for taking this step to provide survivors of domestic violence with what could very well be life-saving aid.”


“As stay-at-home orders are extended for New York City residents, it is critical that vulnerable survivors of domestic violence are provided with the necessary financial resources to protect their safety and economic security," said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “I am grateful to the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and Sanctuary for Families for this important initiative to provide direct financial relief for survivors, and look forward to the program's success.”


“Sometimes all a survivor needs is a little helping hand to lift them out of a dangerous situation and into safety, said State Senator Liz Krueger. “At this time in particular, when survivors are often at their most vulnerable, these grants could be a lifeline for New Yorkers in need. I thank the City and Sanctuary for Families for making this funding available and ensuring it gets where it needs to go."


"During this emergency, people are told to stay home to be safe. But for many, home is not safe," said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “The City is taking important action today to protect and empower those who have suffered domestic or gender-based violence so they can meet their immediate needs and protect their own safety."


“Abusers in domestic and gender-based violence situations use isolation as a tactic to establish control and unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to facilitate this,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “Enhancing the city’s ability to help survivors of domestic and gender-based violence is desperately needed at this time. I thank the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City for this important effort.”


“I am proud to support the City in its efforts to protect those most vulnerable during this health crisis,” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “This program is another way we can help survivors know they are not alone.”


“Prior to the arrival of the Covid 19 virus, the life of a survivor of domestic or gender based violence was one fraught with anxiety, fear and uncertainty,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz. “This small stipend will provide some necessary stability in these fearful times to these victims of domestic/gender based violence.”


"This pandemic has shed light on the intense challenges that many New Yorkers face every day, especially survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. Nothing should be a barrier between a survivor and their safety," said Council Member Carlina Rivera. "I am proud that our City is taking bold action with this innovative micro-grant model to provide survivors with the lifesaving resources they need for both immediate relief and long-term economic security.”








By next week, the Emergency Food Program will be delivering over 1 million meals per day; The City has served over 32 million meals across all programs since the COVID-19 crisis began


NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today updated New Yorkers on the City’s emergency food efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. By next week, the Emergency Food Delivery program will be delivering over 1 million meals per day. This is in addition to the City’s school grab-and-go program, which serves over 500,000 meals per day at over 500 schools across the City. The City’s efforts have now passed 32 million total meals served across all City programs since COVID-19 crisis began.


"We are laser focused on ensuring no New Yorker goes hungry,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’ve built a massive operation in just a few weeks and have already provided over 32 million meals since this crisis began, and this is just the beginning. If any New Yorker needs food, we are here for you.”


"This is an enormous operation set up to meet a need the scale of which is hard to imagine, and I'm tremendously proud of our team across City agencies. We have very high standards here - this is emergency food, but it must be healthy, nutritious food. We're working with farmers, caterers, restaurants, and non-profits to do what we can to get it right every time," said Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation and the City’s COVID-19 Food Czar.


The City has monitored the food delivery system closely and continues to learn quickly and make adjustments as needed. The City is currently working with approximately 30 food providers, and is actively hiring and expanding non-profit and for-profit providers to increase capacity, variety and cultural-competence. While this is emergency food to ensure no New Yorker goes hungry, the City also ensures meals meet nutrition requirements. For the senior meals program, for example, meals have sodium limits and required servings of protein, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Due to scale, some vendors are providing shelf-stable boxes, while others are providing fresh food or frozen food as well. If food quality does not meet the program’s standards, the City addresses it directly with the food providers, and has ended contracts with providers who were not living up to their commitment. Read more about the plan to feed New Yorkers in need at nyc.gov/feedingnyc and access food resources at nyc.gov/getfood. New Yorkers who encounter issues can get help at nyc.gov/GetFoodHelp or via 311.


“We continue our commitment to making sure no New Yorker goes hungry during this pandemic. This is an all-hands-on-deck approach, and I am grateful to the multiple City agencies, public and private partners, and CERT volunteers who are all dedicated to providing nutritious food to anyone in need,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell.


“Feeding New York has been enormously successful and Emergency Food Delivery has been a lifeline for millions of New Yorkers,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, “including our licensed professional drivers, who are performing their duties as essential workers and earning some income in the process.”


 “We are proud to be a part of this effort to provide food security for millions of New Yorkers. We have 95 Parks employees working at our Food Distribution Sites throughout the city who have served over 14 million meals,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “Each meal provided reflects our commitment to preserving the health and well-being of the public we serve.”


 “Our food service employees are unsung heroes and Meal Hubs in every neighborhood across this city are providing a vital service for not only our students, but entire communities. We’ll continue to keep our doors open for as long as it is needed, and we’re proud to help New Yorkers combat hunger every day,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.


“When DFTA began the direct meal delivery program for older adults in March, we knew that many older New Yorkers, who prior to the pandemic had been independent, would find themselves food insecure and that demand for meals would greatly increase,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “The Food Czar’s team has expanded the direct meal delivery program and continues to serve many more older New Yorkers, more than the 44,000 served by DFTA.” 




Resources and Updates you may find useful:

Recursos y Actualizaciones que les pueden ser útiles:



New York State on PAUSE is extended through May 28th. Non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home until at least that day.

El Estado de NY en PAUSA se extiende hasta el 28 de Mayo. Todo personal no esencial debe continuar trabajando en casa al menos hasta ese día.

纽约州暂停时间延长至528日。 非必要的劳动力至少在那天之前要继续在家工作。


Due to COVID-19, there is a shortage of blood and blood donations are desperately needed. New York State is working with blood banks to ensure safe social distancing protocols are being followed. Learn how and where you can donate at ny.gov/donateblood


Por COVID-19, hay escasez de sangre y donaciones de sangre son urgentemente necesitados. El Estado de Nueva York está trabajando con bancos de sangre para asegurar que los protocolos de distanciamiento social sean seguidos. Aprenda cómo y dónde puede donar al https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/node/1546#

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