Jennifer Fermino | September 14, 2015
It all depends on what you mean by “homeless.”
Rudy Giuliani, defending his City Hall record in an ongoing spat with Mayor de Blasio, said Friday shelter residents don’t count as homeless — a definition that would surprise the Department of Homeless Services.
The former mayor took issue with de Blasio’s comment that homelessness rose 40% during the Giuliani administration — saying that actually the shelter population rose only 32%.
“Here’s how ignorant Mayor de Blasio is … people who are in shelters, I would like to inform the mayor, are not homeless,” said Giuliani in an interview on “Good Day New York” before going to the 9/11 Memorial.
A spokeswoman for the mayor said name-calling on the 9/11 anniversaries was “inappropriate” and declined further comment.
Homeless advocates were incensed. “Of course people in homeless shelters are homeless,” said Jennifer Flynn of Vocal-NY.
Giuliani later told The News that the shelter population isn’t the one that causes problems that upset people.
“If they’re in a shelter, they aren’t on the street bothering people,” he said. “I put them in shelters in order to find them the proper treatment so they can get help.”