Mayor Bloomberg responded to a New York Times piece on a homeless 11-year-old girl named Dasani, whose family is struggling to make ends meet in New York City, by saying that some people just have bad luck.
“This kid was dealt a bad hand,” Bloomberg told Politicker, calling her homeless life “a sad situation.”
“I don’t know quite why,” he added. “That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not.”
The story is part of a series in the Times, which explicitly says Bloomberg’s policy on homelessness is why Dasani’s family is homeless today.
“The Bloomberg administration adopted sweeping new policies intended to push the homeless to become more self-reliant,” wrote Andrea Elliott of the Times. “They would no longer get priority access to public housing and other programs, but would receive short-term help with rent.”
Bloomberg denied that Dasani’s situation represents other homeless families in NYC.
“Her family situation is extremely atypical,” the mayor told a press conference. “The article implied that all people are treated this way, or all have the same problems and that just is not true. The average homeless family spends less than two years in shelter and has some employment history; this family did not. This is a sad situation and we’re certainly going to continue to try to help the parents to achieve stability and independence.”
Homelessness increased by 60 percent during Bloomberg’s 12 years in office.
Last year he told the Times that people were staying in shelters longer because he made them “a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before.”
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio ran on the platform that income inequality in the city is completely out of control.
“We are simply not going to allow this kind of reality to continue,” de Blasio said of Dasani’s story.
Sources: Politicker, ThinkProgress