City Council Planning Lawsuit Over Homeless Shelter Policy

christine quinn .jpg
City Council plans to try and stop a new policy from the Mayor's administration that would require homeless people to prove they have nowhere else to go before they can be admitted into a shelter. Council Speaker Christine Quinn described the policy as "cruel and punitive"; the pending suit represents the first in Quinn's six-year tenure as speaker, according to the Times.

The new, more stringent homeless policy was supposed to take effect this month but was postponed because of a lawsuit from the Legal Aid Society.

The Council's General Welfare Committee will vote today on whether to mount a suit. Councilmembers are expected to vote in favor. The lawsuit would accuse the mayor's administration of not providing enough public notice of the new policy, which is legally required.

Kate Taylor notes that Quinn, who will probably run for mayor, "is under pressure from liberals to differentiate herself from the mayor."

[] [@_rosiegray]

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Speaking of finding beds, I hope Christine Quinn doesn't get one in Gracie Mansion.

Safi Thomas
Safi Thomas

Let's take away politics for a second and just think of this in terms of human decency. This policy is akin to kicking someone while they are down. How does one prove that they have nowhere to go? Very often they are on the street because family, friends and the system itself have failed them. Now let's assess the conundrum: If they cannot prove that they have nowhere else togo,they won't be allowed access to the shelter. If they're not allowed access to the shelter they will have no recourse but to wander the streets and try their best to stay warm. 

Where they will eventually come face to face with a NYPD officer who is beleaguered with the odious job of answering "quality of life" complaints because of all those "pesky" homeless people on trains, in Penn Station or in Times Square et al. The homeless individual will be told to "go somewhere else, but where exactly are they supposed to go? The cop will answer that there's plenty of shelters to go to. They'll say they tried that and it didn't work. The cop (more times than not) will tell him to go try again or make some nasty comment or laugh at the person. What this creates is a very frigid climate for the disenfranchised of NYC and demoralizes them further.


They don't need to "prove" anything.  They are asked if they have other resources and if they do then staff works with them on ways to keep them out of the system.

Do you really think the people who choose to live on the streets do so because there is nowhere for them to go?  No, they do it because their mental illness and refusal to take meds leads them there.

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