Mayor Adams’ administration is opening two new mega-immigrant shelters this month amid a seemingly endless influx of asylum seekers from the southern US border.
The new sites, which will only house single men, are meant to replace the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center (HERRC) that management has been operating out of a warehouse at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal since late January.
The HERRC on the Red Hook waterfront will close at the end of March, and city officials began informing migrants living there Monday afternoon that they will be transferred to the two new shelters in the next two weeks, according to a memo from Adams’ office obtained by the Daily News.
“We continue to do more than any other city in the nation, but as the number of asylum seekers continues to grow, we seriously need the support of our state and federal governments,” the mayor said in a statement, noting that more than 31,000 immigrants , mostly Latin Americans, remain in the care of the city.
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal site, which is closing as HERRC ahead of the cruise season this spring, has the capacity to hold about 1,000 people. The facility became a focus of controversy after a group of immigrants refused to be relocated there in January amid concerns about housing conditions.
The new HERRC shelters will have a combined capacity of 1,200 people, according to Adams’ office.
The first will be at 220 W. 42nd St. in Midtown Manhattan. The other will be at 455 Jefferson St. in Bushwick, authorities said.
Both facilities will be completely indoors and will operate out of vacant buildings that the city is converting to housing, an Adams official said. Food will be offered on site, as will services such as medical care, the official added.
The Adams administration has shelled out nearly $1 billion in housing, food and services for the tens of thousands of migrants who have poured into the city since last spring. Most of them are fleeing poverty and violence in their Central and South American countries of origin in the hope of gaining asylum in the US.
Molly Park, acting commissioner of the Adams Department of Social Services, testified before City Council Monday that her agency houses 21,814 asylum seekers in city shelters. Another approximately 10,000 migrants live in the city’s HERRCs, which are operated by the city’s public hospital system and the Office of Emergency Management.
Adams has pleaded for months with the feds and Gov. Hochul’s administration to help the city shoulder the enormous financial burden of the immigration crisis. On March 3, the feds began accepting relief applications.