Responding to stats showing that families with children are staying in shelters 30 percent longer than last year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that city shelters are now so “pleasurable” that residents don’t want to leave, says the New York Daily News.
“We have made our shelter system so much better that, unfortunately, when people are in it — or fortunately, depending on what your objective is — it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before,” Bloomberg said on Thursday.
The mayor believes there is “less pressure on people to move out” since the shelter system has been overhauled.
Actual shelter residents, though, tell a much different story.
“This is the slummiest place you can imagine,” Chanel Sykes, 35, a resident of Fort Greene’s Auburn shelter, told the paper. Sykes shares a room with her husband and eight children ranging from 5 months to 11 years old.
“I’ve been to prison. This is just like prison,” said David Buntin, 35, who arrived at Auburn with his four kids earlier this month.
In July, Patch talked to Bed-Stuy residents who were growing impatient with unemployment and met Carl, with his head resting on a hard desk – not even a bed.
City shelters are already at their , said a new report released this week, and some are struggling to meet the demand.
Anthony Butler, executive director of St. John’s Bread and Life food pantry in Bed-Stuy told Patch on Thursday that they’ve “seen a huge uptick in the number of immigrant families in need of our services.”
According to the Daily News, Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Mary Brosnahan called Bloomberg’s comments “shocking and offensive,” while Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said the mayor is “living in a fantasy world.”