Adams looks to house migrants in private homes, houses of worship
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) on Monday unveiled a plan for houses of worship to shelter migrants in the city as Republican governors of southern border states send migrants north to New York.
“As we continue to tackle this humanitarian crisis, I’m proud that through this new partnership with New York Disaster Interfaith Services, New York City’s faith community will be able to provide shelter to asylum seekers in need at houses of worship throughout the five boroughs,” Adams said in a Monday announcement.
The two-year partnership will allow up to 50 houses of worship or other faith-based spaces to offer overnight shelter for up to 19 single adult men at each location, according to a release from the mayor’s office.
The faith-based spaces will continue to offer their normal activities during the day, and the city will open five “daytime centers” for programming during the day.
The program will increase the city’s space for migrants by nearly 1,000 beds, and will also “connect asylum seekers with local communities.”
Adams also said Monday that it’s his “vision” to “take the next step to … faith-based locales and then move to a private residence.”
“There are residents who are suffering right now because of economic challenges. They have spare rooms,” Adams said.
If there’s a way around certain rules, he said, “we can take that $4.2 billion — $4.3 [billion] maybe, now — that we potentially may have to spend and we can put it back in the pockets of everyday New Yorkers, everyday houses of worship, instead of putting it in the pockets of corporations.”
The city continues to care for over 46,000 asylum seekers, according to the mayor’s office .
The influx of migrants in part comes as GOP governors to bus or fly thousands of migrants north to Democrat-led cities in protest of immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border — and amid the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 immigration policy.
“This influx of asylum seekers is a serious crisis, one that New York City is facing largely on our own. It’s unfair and it’s not right that New York is going through this,” Adams said, adding that through the end of May the city has spent more than $1.2 billion on the crisis.
Adams had suggested last month that some of the migrants be housed in school gyms.
The mayor stressed that the current situation is not sustainable. “We cannot continue to sustain this with the inflow that we’re receiving. So, because we are managing this, I don’t want anyone to believe that this is sustainable, because it is not,” he said, adding that “we need real immigration reform.”