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Bill De Blasio, Christine Quinn join effort for homeless

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, right,

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, and others listen as Christine Quinn, CEO of the Women in Need shelter in the East New York section of Brooklyn, speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Mayor Bill de Blasio and former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, bitter political rivals in 2013, came together Wednesday for combating homelessness and delivered Christmas gifts to children at a Brooklyn shelter.

Quinn said de Blasio’s administration has been a fully cooperative partner with the Women In Need — or Win — shelter network that she now oversees as chief executive.

“I’ve been given nothing but the highest level of access to every person that I need to talk to,” she said at a news conference at the Liberty Family Residence in East New York.

The mayor in turn commended Quinn, one of his Democratic primary opponents when he ran for mayor.

“Chris has done a lot for this city,” he said. “And she did it as an activist, she did it as a staffer in the City Council, she did it as a City Council member, a speaker, but now leading this extraordinary organization.”

They appeared together in public for the first time since she lost her bid for mayor and endorsed him.

Quinn spoke in support of two new de Blasio initiatives to stem the surge in homelessness, calling the comprehensive review of programs “obviously a great step” and praising the HomeStat mobile outreach system for providing individualized care.

They met with a shelter resident struggling to find her own apartment because landlords have refused to accept a government voucher covering her rent. De Blasio said such treatment is discrimination, citing a law he and Quinn passed as City Council members.

Asked whether the homelessness crisis should bring together elected officials, the mayor alluded to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. A Cuomo spokeswoman last month said de Blasio “can’t manage” the problem.

“This is something that can unite city and state, can unite people across parties,” de Blasio said.

The mayor said he has not spoken with Cuomo’s office about state efforts to address homelessness, which the governor is to unveil in next month’s State of the State remarks.


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