Quinn Slams Bloomberg Over New Homeless Policy

Melissa Russo of NBC reported last night that under a new Bloomberg administration proposal people seeking a bed at city homeless shelters will have to prove they have no other options.

The new policy led to a scathing statement from Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who promptly promised to hold hearings on the new measure.

“This policy is cruel, risky, unacceptable, and will not reduce homelessness in the city of New York,” Ms. Quinn said in a joint statement with General Welfare chair Annabel Palma. “Denying people shelter because they have found another option for some period of time is punishing people for trying to do the right thing.”

Ms. Quinn is a reliable Bloomberg ally, and this statement could represent an effort on the part of the speaker to distance herself from the administration with a Democratic primary in 2013 approaching.

” This policy is an irresponsible ‘no room at the inn’ approach that does nothing to address the record number of people experiencing homelessness in New York City as winter approaches,” added Ms. Quinn. “The recession has had a real effect on unemployment and on people’s ability to stay in their homes — our charge is to find ways to help these people — not to send them into the streets with nowhere to turn to for help.”

According to NBC, the policy is part of a Department of Homeless Services plan to save $4 million a year and will reserve its shrinking resources for those who are truly the neediest.

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