Bill de Blasio is no friend of the homeless, current and former street people complained at a rally on Friday — citing what they called the mayor’s misguided response to the brutal recent bludgeoning attack that left four vagrants dead.
The mayor’s response was criticized as relying too much on police intervention, and not enough on providing such root-cause relief as affordable housing.
“He’s not the man I voted for. He’s a liar. He promised and does not deliver,” said Nathylin Flowers Adesegun Friday at a City Hall rally against homelessness.
Adesegun is the homeless activist who confronted de Blasio about the need for more affordable housing during his daily workout at the Park Slope YMCA last year.
“I’m in the middle of doing my workout, I can’t do this now,” the mayor told Adesegun at the time.
“I want someone who is willing to do the work and stop cheating us like we’re jerks,” she said Friday.
The 73-year-old retired accountant lost her rent-stabilized apartment of 35 years in 2015 after her rent nearly tripled. She still lives in a shelter.
“We need more affordable housing, but he’s stuck on building new jails,” one of the activists at the rally, Garrett McMahan, Jr., 65, told The Post.
McMahan is a volunteer for Care for the Homeless who was formerly homeless and now lives in Manhattan.
“His priorities are messed up,” McMahan said of the mayor. “It’s upside down. He’s not thinking right. He wants to close down Rikers and put prisons in four boroughs and people need a plan to stop homelessness.”
Gail Gadsden, 57, another homeless New Yorker-turned-advocate, had a message for the mayor.
“De Blasio you made promise after promise, I voted for you, I want my vote back, because too many people are homeless,” she said at the rally.
Adesegun, McMahan and Gadsden joined 70 activists and elected officials including state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams at the rally.
“There seems to be an emphasis in the plan to put additional funds into a co-response model,” Williams said. “That means police will continue to respond to people who are in a mental crisis. The co-response model is not where our end point should be. Our endpoint should be a non police response to people who are in mental health crisis,” he said.
Said Niou, “The housing prices now are insanely high, the cost of living here untenable, and people who have full time jobs are homeless.
“Because of a slew of systemic failures, any one of us could fall into this never-ending cycle of poverty. We need to recognize that incidents like these are a symptom of our broken system that ignores the voices of our most vulnerable community members.”
The city’s homeless population grew to 78,604 this year, up from 73,523 in 2016, according to a recent report by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
Spokeswomen for de Blasio did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
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