Mayor Adams Announces Social Services, Homeless Services, and HRA Appointments

Gary Jenkins, the new Commissioner at DSS. Image Credit: NYC DSS.

On February 2, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams announced three new appointments of his administration connected to social services. The three appointments are: Gary Jenkins as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS); Lisa Fitzpatrick as Administrator of the Human Resources Administration (HRA); and the reappointment of Joslyn Carter as the Administrator of the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).

The Department of Social Services comprises the administrative units of the Human Resources Administration and the Department of Social Services. HRA is the nation’s largest social services agency in the country, which administers over twelve major public assistance programs in areas like food assistance and emergency rental assistance. The Department of Homeless Services addresses and works to prevent homelessness, and assists New Yorkers in finding temporary shelter and transitioning to permanent housing. 

Gary Jenkins

Gary Jenkins received a Bachelor of Arts from CUNY John Jay College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of New York. 

Commissioner Jenkins has an over 30-year history with DSS. He previously held leadership positions in various HRA programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid Program and Temporary Cash Assistance. He served as HRA First Deputy Commissioner, and in this role he directly oversaw the Homelessness Prevention Administration, Employment Services, the Office of Child Support Services, and the Fair Fares Program. He was most recently the Administrator of HRA. 

Commissioner Jenkins will report to Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Williams-Isom. 

Commissioner Jenkins stated, “The unifying mission at the Department of Social Services is to support New Yorkers in need, and I cannot think of two individuals better qualified to carry forward this mission and lead the Department of Homeless Services and Human Resources Administration. Administrator Carter and Administrator Fitzpatrick have dedicated their lives to strengthening the city’s social safety net, and I look forward to working with both to build on the progress we have made to tackle poverty and inequality, prevent homelessness, and provide critical services to our fellow New Yorkers in a compassionate and caring manner.”  

Lisa Fitzpatrick

Lisa Fitzpatrick received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Masters of Public Administration from CUNY Baruch College. 

Administrator Fitzpatrick has been with HRA for over 37 years. Her various roles within the agency have included eligibility specialist, the chief program officer for the Medical Assistance Program and the Family Independence Administration (FIA), and assistant deputy commissioner of the Office of Procedures and Deputy Commissioner for FIA Operations. 

She will report to Commissioner Jenkins. 

Administrator Fitzpatrick stated, “It is an honor to be appointed HRA administrator and I am eager to get to work improving how we serve New Yorkers in need and ensuring they can access vital resources. For more than 35 years at HRA, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of the services we provide to New Yorkers and the care and compassion our staff strive to bring to our shared mission every day. I look forward to working with Mayor Adams, Commissioner Jenkins, and all our great staff at HRA, and am confident that our agency can play an important role in ensuring our city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is rooted in equity and inclusion.”

Joslyn Carter

Joslyn Carter received her Master of Social Work Degree from the Hunter College School of Social Work in 1993. She completed a post-graduate Clinical Social Work Fellowship from Yale University in 1996. She has served as an adjunct professor at the Stony Brook School of Social Work. 

Prior to her work with DHS, Carter worked with Kings County Hospital as a social worker, the American Red Cross as the director of social services, and the director of preventative services at Talbot Services Children Services. 

She has worked at DHS for almost 18 years. Carter began as a program analyst managing ten family shelters, and then was promoted to program administrator where she was responsible for managing over 25 family shelters. She was appointed to the associate commissioner of Transitional Services in 2013. In 2015, she was appointed as the associate commissioner of family intake. She was appointed to her position under the de Blasio administration in 2017, and will continue to serve as DHS Administrator in the Adams administration. She will report to Commissioner Jenkins. 

Administrator Carter stated, ““Supporting New Yorkers in need has been my life’s mission, and it is a true honor to continue serving in my capacity as DHS Administrator. Each day at DHS, I am reminded of the important work our staff and provider partners do 24/7/365 to support New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, and I want to extend a special thanks to our teams and our collaborators for their tireless work ethic and dedication. I look forward to working with Mayor Adams, Commissioner Jenkins, and all our great staff at DHS to build on the important progress we have made transforming our city’s approach to homeless services, which is more important than ever as we emerge from the unprecedented challenges of the past two years.”  

Mayor Adams stated, “In order to help New Yorkers who are struggling and ensure a robust recovery from the pandemic, we need leadership with the right mix of experience, talent, and emotional intelligence. Commissioner Jenkins, Administrator Fitzpatrick, and Administrator Carter have shown throughout their long careers in public service that they can deliver for New Yorkers who need help the most, and we are proud to have them join our team as we work every day to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for New Yorkers.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


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