It's been nearly a year since she confronted Mayor Bill de Blasio about the homelessness crisis during his morning workout at the Park Slope YMCA.
"I'm in the middle of doing my workout. Sorry, you can't do this now," the mayor said to her.
The woman seen in the video is Nathylin Flowers, a 73-year-old housing activist who once worked on Wall Street and in the city's theater scene. She's been living in homeless shelters since 2015, after she was evicted from her home in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, where she lived for 35 years.
"It seems that he's indifferent to what we're really going through, what a horrible problem it is, how bad it is to live in a shelter," Flowers said.
There are approximately 59,000 New Yorkers in the city's shelter system. 21,000 of them are children, and 16,000 of them are single adults, just like Flowers, who now lives in a women's shelter in Long Island City, Queens.
"This is a great neighborhood. My senior center is there in Saint Mark's Church, my neighbors are here. You know, I've known people here for 30 years," Flowers said.
In October of 2018, she had one plea for the mayor: set aside more units of housing for the homeless.
But today, she remains without a home, the mayor's plan remains unchanged, and the homeless crisis is showing few signs of improvement.
"If the poorest people in your city are suffering…and you have not made a plan to address the crisis that's at-hand, then how can you call a progressive?" said Paulette Soltani, the political director of VOCAL-NY.
A new report by the Coalition for the Homeless shows that low-income New Yorkers are increasingly finding the city's housing market out of reach, and de Blasio's housing plan is doing little to fix the problem.
"We have a glut of apartments that are renting for extremely high rents and we have very few units that are renting for low rents," said Giselle Routhier, the policy director for the Coalition for the Homeless. "What that's doing is pushing low-income renters out of the housing market and into homelessness,"
The report shows that, between 1999 and 2017, New York City lost over one million apartments renting for less than $800 per month.
But according to city officials, the mayor's "Turning the Tide" plan to address homelessness, has delivered. A spokesperson for the mayor said, "We are committed to helping Mrs. Flowers find safe and permanent housing. Between unprecedented investments in legal services, rental assistance and rehousing programs, this administration is building and protecting affordable housing at a record pace."
As part of his housing plan, de Blasio has built or preserved 135,000 units of housing.
But Flowers says that's not good enough. "Things have got to change. You have to step up, mayor. You have to step up, do your job, and find the ways," Flowers says.
Activists want the city to create 30,000 housing units for homeless New Yorkers. So far, only 11,500 have been set aside for those without a home.
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