The latest new shelter for migrants in the city is the NYPD’s former police academy building on East 20th Street.

Alan Cardenas is there with his mom and says it has not been easy. He came to the city from Panama and has been at the shelter for the last few days.

What You Need To Know

  • Alan Cardenas has lived at the NYPD’s former police academy building on East 20th Street for a few days with his mom

  • Officials and advocates are condemning the congregate settings

  • Originally, only men were supposed to reside at the shelter

  • The city is hoping for money from the federal government to help combat the migrant crisis

“We don’t have better options. We [are] just trying to get a better life here,” Cardenas said.

The new facility is causing backlash. Officials say the facility was originally supposed to be for only men, but now families and children are living in group settings.

“The city cannot shelter families with children in congregate settings. Private sleeping quarters are required for families’ safety, for mothers to privately nurse newborns, to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases, and to prevent sexual assault,” the Legal Aid Society said in a statement.

Christine Quinn, a former City Councilmember who now serves as president and CEO of Women In Need, says the current conditions are unacceptable.

“That is not an appropriate place for children,” Quinn said.

This new facility is operating as Title 42 is expected to be lifted later this week, which is expected to cause a surge of migrants entering the U.S.

The city is hoping for help from the federal government.

“With hundreds of asylum seekers already arriving in New York City every day, we desperately need federal and state support more than ever to quickly manage this crisis,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.

Cardenas says he doesn’t know what the future holds, but says there is “no turning back for [him and his] mother.”