Mayor visits homeless shelter for Christmas

Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the Liberty Residences Homeless Shelter in Brownsville Wednesday to delivery early Christmas gifts to needy children.

Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the Liberty Residences Homeless Shelter in Brownsville Wednesday to delivery early Christmas gifts to needy children. (12/23/15)

BROWNSVILLE - Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the Liberty Residences Homeless Shelter in Brownsville Wednesday to delivery early Christmas gifts to needy children.

Christine Quinn, a former councilwoman who lost her race against de Blasio for mayor, was also on hand. The two gave out toys and then held a news conference addressing recent criticism of the city's shelter system.

Comptroller Scott Stringer released an audit this week calling the conditions in family shelters "deplorable."

The mayor defended the city's system, saying that officials have been addressing the shelters' problems all year. He said that the city has corrected more than 12,000 building violations in its shelters since the beginning of that effort, but added that he agreed with Stringer that was where more work needs to be done.

"We will put a lot into fixing these problems," de Blasio said.

Quinn was recently appointed head the WIN network of homeless shelters, of which Liberty Residences is a part.

A man who said he lived in the shelter said that he appreciated the mayor's visit, but hopes for changes to the system that will help uplift people from the shelters into permanent affordable housing.

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