Tags: Bill de Blasio | homeless | New York City

De Blasio Continues Practice of Shipping Homeless Out of NYC

Image: De Blasio Continues Practice of Shipping Homeless Out of NYC
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 07 Sep 2014 06:09 PM

As a candidate, Bill de Blasio was critical of then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's homeless policies, but now that he has assumed the office himself he is facing critics of his own, The New York Post reports.

According to the Post, the city has paid for 1,412 homeless people to leave the city since de Blasio took office in January. The number has him on track to deport as many homeless people as did Bloomberg in his last year when the city's Department of Homeless Services bought plane or bus tickets for 2,208 people.

Though the program dates to the days of Mayor Ed Koch, homeless advocates are particularly critical of de Blasio because of his "Tale of Two Cities" campaign theme in which he vowed to narrow the gap between the city's rich and poor.

"This is ridiculous," Luis Tejada, former head of the Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center in West Harlem, told the Post. "I worked for (de Blasio’s) campaign. We expected more from him. This is a big surprise."

Tejada said de Blasio should focus more on landlords who put homeless people on the street.

"If he continues to do this, I don’t think people will vote for him for the next term," Tejada said.

The program provides one-way bus or plane tickets to homeless people who can prove they have relatives in another city they can live with. The program cost $500,000 in Bloomberg's last year. The city hasn't provided cost figures for this year.

Homeless Services spokesman Christopher Miller called the program "a compassionate solution that reunites homeless New Yorkers with their loved ones or other stable housing and employment options."

De Blasio declined to comment when asked about the program on Saturday, saying, "Today is about the Labor Day parade! Today we’re out here supporting working people throughout the city."

The criticism is not new. In late August, The New York Daily News reported that homelessness was up six percent in New York City since de Blasio was sworn in.

De Blasio added three new homeless shelters in Queens, but residents of the areas where the shelters were located. Protests arose when the 46,000-square-foot Pan American Hotel was turned into a shelter and quickly rose from housing a promised 24 families to 648 people from 180 families.

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As a candidate, Bill de Blasio was critical of then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's homeless policies, but now that he has assumed the office himself he is facing critics of his own.
Bill de Blasio, homeless, New York City
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2014-09-07
Sunday, 07 Sep 2014 06:09 PM
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