Formerly incarcerated leaders, advocacy organizations and elected officials held a rally organized by Community Alternatives outside of the Manhattan Detention Center demanding housing justice for formerly incarcerated New Yorkers.

With only 15 days until funding for COVID-19 hotel rooms for people leaving jail or living in unsafe shelter conditions expire, advocates say action is needed to ensure that New Yorkers in the criminal legal system have housing for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and have access to permanent, safe housing in the future.

Speakers called for the renewal of funding for COVID-19 reentry housing, as well as legislation to prohibit discrimination against people with arrest or conviction histories in the private housing market and in public housing.

Protests are demanding action to address police brutality and other forms of state violence, including calls to defund the police and invest in community resources. Housing––particularly for formerly incarcerated, homeless and vulnerable New Yorkers––is one critical element of a just budget.