Chirlane McCray grilled over ‘Thrive’ initiative

Chirlane McCray went on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York” on Wednesday to announce the installation of statues depicting five pioneering women in each borough—but got a grilling from the show’s hosts about her besieged mental health initiative, ThriveNYC.

“Some people have said there’s no accountability for the money that was spent– $850 million going to hit $1 billion within five years and we’re still seeing lots of homeless on the street and apparently not a lot of bookkeeping from your office,” anchor Rosanna Scotto asked McCray, the city’s first lady.

“Well that’s not true, that is absolutely not true,” McCray answered. “We have so many measures in place and I uh, uh, so many measures in place,” she said.

Co-host Lori Stokes pressed McCray about the “accomplishments thus far of ThriveNYC” and “how can we be able to tell that $850 mil has actually been well spent?”

McCray claimed the program will have spent only $560 million by the end of June.

“That’s a lot of bucks,” Stokes countered.

“Those bucks have been well spent,” McCray said, adding, “The kinds of things people are looking for we’re not going to see for many years because that’s just not the way it works. When you get vaccinated you don’t immediately become immune.”

Scotto wasn’t satisfied: “We’d like to see some changes on the street with the homeless people and the mentally ill people,” she said.
McCray responded that Thrive focuses on “prevention and intervention.”

Asked again about accounting problems with the program, McCray said Thrive’s budget director would be testifying before the City Council on Wednesday because “not everyone understands an initiative of this size and complexity.”

Last week, city Comptroller Scott Stringer said he was concerned about the program’s “lack of transparency” and asked the mayor’s office for more detailed information about its spending and results.

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