With great pride, the MCNY Community congratulates
MCNY MPA’06 and Board Trustee
Mayor de Blasio Appoints Gary Jenkins as Administrator of the Human Resources Administration (HRA)
September 3, 2020/NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced the appointment of Gary Jenkins as Administrator of the Human Resources Administration (HRA), the nation’s largest social service agency. With over 30 years of experience at HRA, Jenkins will be responsible for leading agency efforts to fight poverty and income inequality. He will report to the Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks.
Earlier this year…
In April 2020, we caught up with Gary to discuss what it was like to be on the frontline of Covid19 as an agency leader during these challenging times.
HRA is the nation’s largest social services agency assisting over 3 million New Yorkers annually through the administration of more than 12 major support programs, including SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps), Cash Assistance, Medicaid, the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP), burial assistance, and the domestic violence program and shelter system to name a few. These programs are needed more than ever.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deBlasio Administration and indeed, HRA has worked to combat the punishing effects of the pandemic and its collateral consequences. COVID-19 has had a salient impact on black and brown communities in New York City and across the nation. HRA workers and it’s clients (who are mostly black and brown) are not exempt from the devastating impact of COVID-19. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that the risk of contracting the virus is minimized for our more than 14,000 staff so that they in turn can serve the neediest New Yorkers. In a few short weeks, I assisted in leading an effort to implement a remote service model that allowed most of our staff to work from home. Under normal circumstances it may have taken one or two years to implement a remote service model; under these challenging circumstances, we did it in just a few short weeks.
Having a healthy staff will be key as HRA is one of the city agencies charged with ameliorating the fiscal crisis and widening the economic gap that was only exacerbated by COVID-19. As more and more New Yorkers lose wages and jobs, the agency has processed an unprecedented number of Public Assistance applications. Seldom, if ever, has the City seen these high volumes of Public Assistance applications and our new remote/online service model means New Yorkers in need can apply for our benefit programs 24 hours a day from a home computer or mobile device. The City does not anticipate a slowdown in application volume or drastic improvements in the economy for months to come. HRA will be critical to the City’s economic recovery and helping New Yorkers get back on their feet and back to work.
For the duration of COVID-19 and beyond, I will continue to lead critical work to ensure that the agency’s staff remain safe and healthy and have the necessary tools to provide essential services to New Yorkers in need without putting their own health and safety at risk. Further, I will continue to lead efforts to ensure that no New Yorker goes hungry, homeless, or faces domestic or intimate partner violence due to COVID-19. There’s more work to be done…
Spoken like a true #myMCNY leader!