NYC seeks new ways to connect sex workers to services without arresting them

The first of the five times Alexandra (a pseudonym) was arrested for prostitution and brought to the Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court, she was 17 and had zero interest in counseling. “I was telling the pimp I was with, ‘I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go,’” she tells Gothamist. “And he was like, ‘You have to go because this is what they mandated and you don’t wanna go to jail.’”

Round-the-Clock Care, Half-the-Clock Pay

Socorro Toribio emerged into bright sunshine on a recent Wednesday morning in July after spending four days in her bedridden client’s Lower East Side apartment...Despite feeling sleep-deprived, Toribio didn’t head home after work that day. Instead, she took the train to Downtown Brooklyn to the headquarters of the state Department of Labor, where home health aides held signs in Spanish, Chinese, and English denouncing the state policy under which they are allowed to be paid for just thirteen hours of their 24-hour shifts.

When New Yorkers Report A Mental Health Crisis, Who Should Respond?

When Christina Sparrock skipped multiple sessions with her psychiatrist earlier this year, her doctor became alarmed and called a mobile crisis team to visit her apartment. The two mental health practitioners who arrived (the teams are usually staffed by social workers) quickly set about assessing her well-being. “They were examining my apartment, my appearance, asking whether I took medication, how I was resting, what’s your support system, when’s your next doctor’s appointment,” recalls Sparrock.

De Blasio says fentanyl-laced heroin warrants war on drugs

The city's decision to dedicate a large portion of new funds for reducing opioid-overdose deaths to an NYPD initiative to arrest more drug dealers is justified because of the potency of the drug fentanyl, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in response to questions Monday evening. But those who want the city to move away from the war on drugs and toward a public-health approach to drug use aren't convinced.

How a 3-D printer saved Zeesy Stern's jaw (Cover Story)

Zeesy Stern lay unconscious on an operating table at NYU Langone Medical Center as a surgeon removed a section of her jaw where a golf-ball-size tumor had begun to displace the teeth on the left side of her mouth. Another doctor, meanwhile, worked to extract a piece of her fibula that would be fitted like a puzzle piece into the space where her jaw once was. The goal was to remove the growth and create a new, fully functioning jaw, a feat that once took three operations over 18 months and left some patients with trouble chewing and disfigurement. But the doctors at NYU Langone had pioneered a new approach, one they dubbed “jaw in a day.” The tool that made it possible: not a scalpel, but a 3-D printer.

De Blasio's Department Of Homeless Services Can't Fully Explain High Costs Of New Park Slope Shelters

As Park Slope residents debate the scheduled arrival of two new homeless shelters in their neighborhood later this year, another question has arisen: Is the city overpaying to provide the homeless families who will live there with shelter and services? According to contracts released last month, the city will be spending more than $260 million over nearly nine years to house 253 families at the two newly constructed buildings on Fourth Avenue—a cost of about $10,000 a month per apartment.