Brian Robinson, one of the dozen candidates running for the congressional district covering parts of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, wants to tackle New York City’s homelessness issue if he wins.
“I think to say that we have a mental health crisis that is related to homelessness, to say that is not happening would be from the mouth of somebody who hasn’t been living here,” Robinson, the founder and former CEO of a Manhattan-based credit counselling company, told Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” Wednesday.
When asked what his solution is with Congress, Robinson said there needs to be a “compassionate solution” on the federal level.
“What I want to do is I want to bring oversight on the homeless industrial complex who, in my opinion, have been given more than enough chances to do a better job,” he said.
Robinson mentioned that about $3 billion go into shelters from taxpayers and “we’re only seeing the problem get worse.” He wants audits for the financial and performance metrics of homeless service provides, as well as doctors on site to evaluate anyone who is currently involved in the criminal justice system.
“Because the facts are that up to 17% of those who are claiming rights to shelter are severely mentally ill,” he claimed. “It’s not right to have that population, which needs a different type of psychiatric treatment, mixed in with the 80% or so of homeless people who really would not hurt a fly.”
Robinson said this isn’t about “demonizing homeless people,” but instead making sure they’re safe in the shelters.
“We need to do a much better job and if the local levels are not willing to address this issue, then we need a Congressman that’s gonna be, sort of speak, the adult in the room,” he said.
Robinson also discussed his opposition to bail reform and support for judges using “dangerousness” as a component of evaluating someone accused of a crime.
The primary election is Aug. 23.