Adams appoints new officials in administration’s effort to strengthen New York’s social safety net

Mayor Eric Adams holds a press conference in the City Hall Rotunda on Jan. 30.
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Looking to keep his goal of building a stronger and more accessible social safety net for New Yorkers, Mayor Eric Adams announced the addition of three new members of his administrative staff dedicated toward making that happen.

On Feb. 2, Adams appointed Gary Jenkins as commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS), Lisa Fitzpatrick as administrator of the Human Resources Administration (HRA) as well as the reappointment of Joslyn Carter as administrator of the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).

Adams built his campaign around making social services more accessible to New Yorkers, especially those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to make ends meet. The mayor has proposed using the app MyCity – which serves as a singular portal for all city services and benefits – to help quickly identify who in the community needs additional social support. Along with the portal, the mayor’s appointments Wednesday aim to usher in a wave of social service accessibility. 

“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,” said Mayor Adams. “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.”

The appointments were commended by the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom, who called Commissioner Jenkins, Administrator Fitzpatrick and Administrator Carter a “compassionate and conscientious team of public servants” who will collaborate to ensure a safer NYC. 

“The mayor has set the tone for our administration to go upstream and prevent New Yorkers from falling into the rivers of poverty and homelessness, while strengthening our social safety net for those who need support now,” said Williams-Isom. “Working together with our partners inside and outside government, we will deliver on this critical mission.”

The three will work with one another as well as with the mayor’s office to establish further security for New Yorkers who are struggling with housing insecurity and poverty. 

“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,” said DSS Commissioner Jenkins. “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.”