About 25 percent of the roughly 48,500 people living in city shelters are not city residents, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not happy about it, reported the New York Post.
Bloomberg blasted the City’s homeless shelter policy on Monday, pointing out that it allows nonresidents and even foreigners to get costly beds in city’s shelters with no questions asked.
“What is truly ludicrous is a system that allows people from across the country and the world to take advantage like this,” the mayor said in response to a report in The Post that even foreigners were living large in city shelters.
Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond agreed the laws are too lax. But he said his hands are tied, since the rule is a result of a lawsuit 30 years ago, Callahan v. Carey, which gave birth to a consent decree forcing the city to provide shelter space to anyone who asks.
“People were not thinking of all of the ramifications at the time [the decree was signed],” Diamond said. “This was written in an era before litigation of these types of issues became common. It was a new world.”