New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, was given $900 million to start a mental health initiative focusing on helping the homeless in the city. Four years later, no one seems to know what that money was actually used for, according to the New York Post.
The City Council discovered this shocking amount of potential waste during a meeting Wednesday. And while it sounds good to spend heavily on a mental health initiative, it appears that nobody has noticed any real benefits from that investment.
"I like the fact that money is going toward mental health, but when they say we're seeing a benefit in all areas, I take exception to that, because I don't see it everywhere," Queens Councilman Robert Holden told The Post. "I'm not sure anybody does."
The Thrive program, which had its budget raised to $250 million per year in 2019, has produced some underwhelming numbers in terms of how many people it impacts.
Seven mayors attended a 2017 national mental health conference in New York City. Only 570 of the estimated 12-15,000 mothers who experience postpartum depression have been reached by the program, Politico reported, a number NYC disputes.
Of the 78,000 newborn deliveries in the city annually, only 28,560 new mothers have been screened by the Thrive program.
Bob McManus harshly assessed the program's effectiveness for the New York Post:
So, ipso presto, co-Mayor Bill coughed up enough cash to break a pack mule's back and sent it off to co-Mayor Chirlane — who then went forth to cure Gotham's mental-illness problems.
Fast-forward to Wednesday, when the City Council was startled to discover that McCray and Team Thrive are closing in on having spent an eye-popping $900 million since the program's inception — and nobody seems to have a clue on what.
That is, nobody appears to have kept receipts; the subways and street corners are still overrun with crazy people, and nobody in charge knows what's to happen next.