The city plans to demobilize its center for asylum seekers on Randall’s Island next week, Mayor Eric Adams announced in a press release Thursday.
Those asylum seekers currently in the Randall’s Island center, which served single adult males, will be offered a chance to transfer to a new center at the Watson Hotel in Midtown, the city said.
The new center, which will also serve newly arriving single adult men, will have 600 rooms and will provide asylum seekers with a variety of services, and will also ensure the asylum seekers can reach their desired destination.
The city has opened multiple centers to serve asylum centers. Officials said the centers are intended to be “the first touch point” for arriving asylum seekers, and will offer shelter, food, medical care, case work services and settlement options.
“We continue to welcome asylum seekers arriving in New York City with compassion and care. This Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center will provide asylum seekers with a place to stay, access support, and get to their final destination,” Adams said in a statement. “We will continue to pivot and shift as necessary to deal with this humanitarian crisis, but it’s clear that we still need financial assistance from our state and federal partners.”
The center on Randall’s Island, which features tents that temporarily house asylum seekers, opened last month. Some lawmakers and housing advocates were critical of the city’s plan to house asylum seekers on the island, citing upcoming winter weather and the potential for flooding.
The city is currently caring for approximately 17,500 asylum seekers, Adams said.