12/31/2013 11:10 am ET

De Blasio Invites Mother Of 'Invisible Child' To Inauguration


The mother of Dasani, a homeless girl whose family was recently profiled in the powerful New York Times series "Invisible Child," has been invited to attend mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's inauguration ceremony Wednesday.

The New York Times' five-part series told the story of a young girl in Brooklyn, identified only by her first name Dasani, struggling to survive within New York's broken homeless shelter system. The series was lauded by homeless advocates for its portrayal of child homelessness and prompted strong reactions from readers.

De Blasio's invitation aligns with his promise to reduce income inequality in the New York City, a major pillar of the "tale of two cities" theme he championed during his campaign.

For years, de Blasio has taken aim at Mayor's Michael Bloomberg's homeless policies. A report earlier this year revealed that over 50,000 people were sleeping in New York City shelters each night in January, a record high not seen since the Great Depression. The report also noted a 61 percent increase in the city's homeless population since Bloomberg took office in 2002.

"That's just the way God works," Bloomberg said, when asked what he thought of "Invisible Child." "Some of us are lucky and some of us are not."

Bloomberg, one of the lucky ones, is the 13th richest person in the world.