A few hundred asylum seekers arrived at P.S. 20 Saturday to receive hot meals and clothes.
Aid for Aids has been distributing food and clothing to migrants every Saturday since July.
Mayor Eric Adams stopped by the distribution Saturday in Manhattan.
Jesus Aguais, Aid for Aids president and founder, said the visit comes after a report by NY1 on the organization’s efforts earlier in the week.
“You have a person that’s on the ground doing the hard work. All we have to do is just take a small step and give you the support you need,” Adams said about Aguais.
Adams greeted families as they waited to get inside and took a tour of the weekly operation.
He met people like Jorge Ramos, who is an asylum seeker.
Ramos said he found help through the organization and is using his skills as a barber to help others.
He was cutting an asylum seeker’s hair when Adams made him a promise.
“I will give him $500 to cut their hair,” Adams said, promising to pay Ramos from his own money to cut the hair of men staying at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
The emergency relief center, which opened back in January, has been shrouded in controversy.
Initially, a group of the single men set to be transferred there from a hotel in Hell’s Kitchen refused to go on claims of inhumane conditions.
Earlier this week, police also were called to the shelter on reports of a 26-year-old man who was suicidal who slashed his arm with a razor.
Protesters gathered at the shelter Saturday afternoon, which the mayor had a message for them.
“I say to them, save your energy and come here. Come here, help out these people,” Adams said.
He said it’s a small group of people speaking out against the city’s efforts.
Adams called them “agitators,” not representative of the more than 44,000 asylum seekers who arrived in the city thus far.
Aguais told NY1 that since their efforts began back in July, they’ve been able to help nearly 7,000 asylum seekers.
“We need money to give opportunities. We need clothes,” Aguais said. “You know they need metro cards, so this is a crisis that is it involves all New Yorkers.”
He said they need donations to keep their efforts going, but what the asylum seekers really want and need is a way to provide for themselves.
“We are working to find ways how we can actually give them opportunities. These [are] so many talented, incredible colleagues, the vast majority, 99% of the people. The first thing they want is work,” Aguais said.