Robert Hess Commissioner New York City Department of Homeless Services
“Our mission is to support individuals and families that are experiencing homelessness in our city, and to help them move from the experience of homelessness back into the community with whatever supports they may need to support them in the community.”
Mr. Hess has nearly 20 years of experience in social services.
April 11, 2006 – Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Robert Hess as the Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).
“New York City is fortunate to have Rob Hess take over the reigns of the Department of Homeless Services,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Rob’s nearly 20 years of experience in social services and his outstanding record of achievement in the Department of Adult Services in Philadelphia makes him uniquely qualified to head DHS. Over the last four years, we have turned DHS around and instilled dignity and compassion into the services provided to New Yorkers who are homeless. Rob will continue this legacy of reform and accomplishment.”
“New York City’s Department of Homeless Services has become a model for the rest of the nation,” said Commissioner Hess. “It’s a great honor to join the Bloomberg Administration and continue its excellent work and help fulfill the Mayor’s commitment to ending homelessness as we know it within five years. I look forward to working with this talented group of public servants to provide the best possible service to DHS’ clients and to the people of New York.”
The mission of the Department of Homeless services is to overcome homelessness in New York City. DHS prevents homelessness wherever possible and provides short-term emergency shelter and re-housing support whenever needed. Mayor Bloomberg has committed the City to reducing homeless by two thirds by 2009. Since the Mayor announced his plan in June 2004, there has been a 23% decrease in the number of homeless children and a 10% decline in the number of homeless families. Commissioner Hess replaces Linda Gibbs who is now the Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services.
Commissioner Hess was the Deputy Managing Director, supervising adult services for the City of Philadelphia. During his tenure, Commissioner Hess developed the Mayor’s ten-year plan to end homelessness in Philadelphia, reduced the number of individuals living on the streets of Philadelphia by over 60% and created the first Housing First programs for chronically homeless individuals. Prior to his service to the City of Philadelphia, Commissioner Hess was the President and CEO of the Center for Poverty Solutions in Baltimore, Maryland and the President and CEO of the Maryland Food Committee. Commissioner Hess earned a B.S. from the University of Maryland and is a veteran of the United States Army. He is married to Tish Hess, a Registered Nurse, and they have two children Christi, age 22 and Brittany age 20.