By Daniel Katzive
As asylum seekers continue to stream into New York City, Mayor Eric Adams on Monday announced another initiative to create new options to provide them with emergency shelter.
The faith-based shelter program announced Monday will be run in partnership with the nonprofit New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS). Up to 50 houses of worship or faith-based locations will offer overnight shelter for as many as 19 single adult men at each location, according to the mayor’s office. The city will also open five new centers providing daytime programming and support for the asylum seekers, according to the two-year plan.
The Mayor’s Office said that at full scale, the faith-based shelter program will host nearly 1,000 asylum seekers, which would be about 2% of the 46,000 the city estimates are currently being cared for.
District 6 City Councilmember Gale Brewer, who joined the mayor’s press conference, said she was “very excited about this program.” Brewer noted that a number of Upper West Side houses of worship are already providing services for asylum seekers, naming Broadway Communities and Saint Paul & Saint Andrew (on West 86th Street) in particular. Brewer said, “This community will do what is not always possible in a larger community setting, which is to work with the individuals.”
Brewer added a call to President Biden to issue orders expediting work permits for migrants. Adams, Governor Kathy Hochul, Brewer and other New York politicians have urged the swift granting of work permits as key to resolving the shelter crisis for asylum seekers. “Mr. President, sign those damn papers,” Brewer said.