Newly arrived migrants maxing out their 30-day allotted time at city-run shelters are having to wait hours—and in some cases—days as they reapply for an extension on temporary housing with the city.
Meanwhile, the days grow colder and more migrants are in need of food and clothing.
“I don’t have a room now,” said Amadou Diallo. “I sleep outside now.”
Since being kicked out of his city-run shelter nearly a week ago, the 24-year-old, originally from Guinea, said he has been on the streets.
“Five days,” Diallo said.
He was among the hundreds of recently arrived migrants who have been waiting outside of a re-ticketing center in Manhattan’s East Village. They’re all reapplying for shelter after the Adams administration placed a 30-day cap on shelter stays for single adult asylum seekers.
This week, migrants waited outside for hours. Some, like Diallo, paid subway fare from the Bronx to sit inside a processing center—only to lose their place in line the next day.
Eventually, the city allowed them to wait inside the re-ticketing center around 11 a.m. Still, many are hungry and cold, so community non-profit organizations are stepping up to help.
“The first distribution we did was on Monday,” said Tyler Hefferon, executive director of EVLovesNYC. “We prepared about 200-300 meals and it wasn’t nearly enough. So we prepared about 450-500 today and are trying to do this as often as possible.”
Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, whose office is across the street from the East 7th street re-ticketing location, asked the community to donate warm coats for migrants in need, which they distributed on Friday. Community groups joined them in distributing meals, clothes and blankets.
“We make sure they have hot food because there’s no food inside and also that they have a warm coat because it’s cold and it’s winter,” said Assembly Member Epstein. “This problem is only going to continue because people are forced to re-ticket all the time.”
Elected leaders said the need is only expected to grow as more migrants exhaust their 30-day shelter limit under the mayor’s policy.
“New York is good,” said Mamadou Ahmed, a migrant who is originally from Mauritania and said he has been in New York for three months. “Thank you so much…New York is good.”
Despite being cold and hungry, some migrants said what they need most is what they traveled to the re-ticketing center for.
“I need a room,” Diallo said.
A place to lay their head after such a long journey.
“Guinea to Senagal, Senagal to Istanbul, then Turkey, Bogota, Salvador, Nicaragua and finally Mexico,” Diallo said of his journey.
The city has also instituted a 60-day shelter limit on migrant families in city-run shelters, which some critics say is contradictory of the city’s previous assertion that they’ll prioritize children.
Mayor Adams said his administration doesn’t want to see the crisis get worse, but claims the city is running out of resources to accommodate them.
City officials said they are providing migrants with case workers during their stay in the shelter system to discuss their options.