Dozens of houses of worship scattered across New York City will start sheltering migrants next month as the Big Apple continues to battle the overwhelming influx of asylum seekers flooding in, Mayor Eric Adams said Monday.
Religious leaders have offered up 50 faith-based locations to help house asylum seekers overnight across the five boroughs as part of a new two-year partnership with the New York Disaster Interfaith Services.
Each of those locations will cater for roughly 19 adult men.
“As we continue to tackle this humanitarian crisis, I’m proud that through this new partnership with New York Disaster Interfaith Services, New York City’s faith community will be able to provide shelter to asylum seekers in need at houses of worship throughout the five boroughs,” Adams said.
“Not only will this increase the space we have by nearly 1,000 beds, but it will also connect asylum seekers with local communities.”
The city will pay the place of worship sites $65 per night for each migrant under the plan.
As part of the program, the city will also open five daytime centers to provide migrant support during the day to allow the faith-based spaces to continue to offer their normal services to New Yorkers.
The city is currently bursting at the seams to house 45,900 asylum seekers in 157 emergency sites set up across the five boroughs.
Roughly 2,200 migrants arrived at city shelters in the last week alone.
“This influx of asylum seekers the serious crisis, one that New York City is facing largely on our own,” Hizzoner said. “It’s unfair and it’s not right.”
Adams said the Big Apple has so far spent $1.2 billion but the federal government has only forked out less than $40 million to help cover the costs.
“That’s enough to pay for five days,” the mayor said, adding that it is a “national crisis being paid for by New York taxpayers.”
The latest faith-based shelter plan comes months after the mayor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships begged the city’s religious leaders for help clothing the thousands of asylum seekers staying in the Big Apple’s migrant shelters.
“Our city has witnessed an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers coming to New York City since last spring,” said Pastor Gil Monrose, executive director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships.
“I am really grateful that faith leaders are opening their doors to asylum seekers — providing their space as well as the hands of the community to care for them. New York is truly a city of faith.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Authority has granted the city approval to shelter migrants inside a warehouse at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey asked if an old postal warehouse near JFK Airport could be used for non-aviation purposes,” the FAA said in a statement.
“The FAA found that the Port Authority had adequate security and safety plans in place.”
It comes after 500 cots and trailers fitted with toilets and showers were preemptively set up last week inside JFK’s Building 197 warehouse to cater for up to 1,000 asylum seekers.