New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced the transition of an emergency respite site into a new Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center at Austell Place in Long Island City as the number of asylum seekers currently in the city’s care approaches 60,000, and as more than 110,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City since last spring seeking shelter. This humanitarian relief center will provide a range of services, in addition to ensuring asylum seekers can reach their desired destination, if not New York City. The site at Austell Place was a vacant office building before being utilized as an emergency respite site. As asylum seekers have continued to arrive in New York City at an average rate of more than 2,400 every week, conditions on the ground required that the city transition the site to a large-scale congregate setting for single men. The humanitarian relief center will start by providing shelter for up to 330 single men, but, once expanded to full capacity, the site will host a total of almost 1,000 asylum seekers.
“With an average of more than 10,000 asylum seekers arriving in our city every month, and nearly 60,000 migrants currently in our care, New York City has stepped up to meet the challenge of this humanitarian crisis — but we need additional support to keep pace,” said Mayor Adams. “The transition of this site into a new humanitarian relief center at Austell Place is an important next step in our efforts to do our part, but, as we’ve said month after month, only more support from our state and federal partners and real policy change in Washington will truly address this crisis.”
“The opening of a new humanitarian relief center at Austell Place is a continued demonstration of the city’s efforts to support newly arrived asylum seekers,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Now, more than ever, we need our state and federal partners to do their part to relieve pressure on New York City through a coordinated decompression strategy, increased financial support, and a faster pathway for asylum seekers to work and achieve independence. Our city has cared for over 100,000 people seeking asylum, largely on our own — and to make this response sustainable, we need greater state and national support.”
“New York City’s compassionate approach to the unfolding asylum seeker crisis provides a path forward for the rest of the country to follow, including states and the federal government,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “We continue on that path with the opening of another Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center at Austell Place — where those arriving in this country having fled hardship will be cared for with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
“The Austell Place Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center is our city’s latest response to the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold with an average rate of 2,400 individuals arriving in New York City asking for shelter each week,” said New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “We continue to lead with compassion and resolve, while awaiting much-needed and overdue federal support and action on this national crisis.
“With the number of asylum seekers seeking refuge in our city continuing to rise, NYC Health + Hospitals is stepping up once again with the placement of the new Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center at Austell Place in Long Island City, which will support these new arrivals with dignity and compassion,” said Ted Long, MD, MHS, senior vice president, Ambulatory Care and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “I want to thank the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for making this site available and the Adams administration for continuing to work tirelessly to meet the needs of the new arrivals by providing the range of services they need.”
Since this humanitarian crisis began, the city has taken fast and urgent action — opening 206 emergency shelters, including 15 other large-scale humanitarian relief centers already. The city has also stood up navigation centers to connect asylum seekers with critical resources; enrolled thousands of children in public schools through Project Open Arms; and launched the Asylum Application Help Center, which has already helped submit more than 3,000 applications for asylum. Earlier this spring, Mayor Adams released “The Road Forward: A Blueprint to Address New York City’s Response to the Asylum Seeker Crisis,” detailing how the city will continue to manage the influx of asylum seekers and advocate for support from federal and state partners.