By Andrea Elliott and Rebecca R. Ruiz, New York Times, Feb. 21, 2014
In the face of New York’s mounting homeless crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce on Friday that his administration is removing hundreds of children from two city-owned homeless shelters that inspectors have repeatedly cited for deplorable conditions over the last decade, officials said.
The city has begun transferring over 400 children and their families out of the Auburn Family Residence in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and from the Catherine Street shelter in Lower Manhattan, while vowing to improve services for the swelling population of 22,000 homeless children, Mr. de Blasio and other officials said in interviews this week [....]
State and city inspectors have cited Auburn for over 400 violations — many of them repeated — for a range of hazards, including vermin, mold, lead exposure, an inoperable fire safety system, insufficient child care and the presence of sexual predators, among them, a caseworker.
“We just weren’t going to allow this to happen on our watch,” the mayor said.
The conditions at Auburn, which were detailed in a recent series in The New York Times, prompted the City Council to schedule hearings next week on family shelters. Records and interviews show that similar lapses have dogged Catherine Street [....]