BROOKLYN - Changes are coming to the Department of Homeless Services to improve the way it serves New York City's homeless.

Public Advocate Letitia James revealed the new protocols Tuesday, with the full support of DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor. James says a lot of the changes were recommended from the previous administration, but never put in place.

The "4-hour rule" has now been extended. People originally had to leave a shelter within four hours if DHS determined they weren't eligible for an extended stay. They can now remain until the next morning. Checklists will also be used to list specific criteria to qualify for a shelter stay.

The DHS will also establish a telephone hotline to offer extra support.