Mayor Bloomberg's war against the homeless continues
The June 24th New York Times reported that, in yet another effort to apply a “market based philosophy” to the problems of the poor, NYC's Bloomberg administration would seek to decrease funding from nonprofit shelter providers unable to place their clients within 6 months.
By the same token, the clients could be ejected for infringements such as refusing to accept a subsidized apartment. Apparently this rule holds even if the apartment has poor conditions or isn’t large enough to accommodate the client’s entire family.
Mayor Bloomberg is running for his third term after ramming through city legislation to overturn term limits. Despite this, and despite his recent angry outbursts at reporters – one of which was aimed at a blogger in a wheelchair who accidentally dropped his recorder during a press conference – his campaign is widely considered to be uncontested. (He's spent over $19 million so far).
He has won endorsements from liberal celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg – who hosted a June 8th event billed as an “intimate, candid, one-on-one, tete-a-tete, no-holds-barred conversation with our favorite candidate for Mayor” -- and openly gay politicians like City Council Speaker Chris Quinn.
Today he snagged an endorsement from the Irish Voice, which cited his “incredible philanthropy” as one reason for the endorsement. (On the other hand, the Village Voice speculated that the lengthy interview that the press-adverse Bloomberg granted the Irish Voice could’ve had something to do with it.)
In the midst of all this, Bloomberg’s war against the poor and homeless continues unabated.
Deputy mayor Linda Gibbs tapped into the Bloomberg administration’s brand of sadistic neo-liberal psychology to explain their most recent policy move of decreased funding and eviction: “We want them to overcome homelessness more quickly. We believe they are in shelter far longer than they need to be.”
Advocates responded that it’s probably not a good idea to throw people out in the street with no place to go.
To this Gibbs insisted that “the families need to understand that they can’t just thumb their nose at the rules and have no consequences.”
It was only six weeks ago that the City started trying to collect rent from shelter residents with jobs.
Homeless people and their allies know this is nothing new. That doesn't make it less infuriating.