Coalition for the Homeless Response to Former Mayor Giuliani’s Comments Today

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said today that the New Yorkers living in the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters are not, in fact, homeless. In response, the Coalition for the Homeless issued this statement from President & CEO Mary Brosnahan: 

“In response to Rudolph Giuliani’s comment today: ‘The people in shelters, I’d like to inform the mayor, are not homeless.’

“Yes, Mayor Giuliani, the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who stayed in shelters during your tenure were homeless. They did not have homes. A shelter is not a home. 

“Winning the battle against homelessness is not about, in your recent words, ‘getting them off the streets’ and out of sight – it’s about getting vulnerable New Yorkers the help they need – in stable, decent affordable homes. That’s the humane – and the cost effective – response.

“But since you spent your entire tenure struggling to eliminate the right-to-shelter New York City benefits from, while also attempting to criminalize the existence of the visibly poor, it’s not a surprise that you never grasped that housing and services is the solution to homelessness.

 “The current administration has taken important steps to move families and homeless adults off the streets and out of the shelter system, but the City alone cannot solve a crisis of this magnitude. Albany and New York City must work together to build the supportive and affordable housing essential to any hope we have to ending this enormous human tragedy.”