During a Monday press conference, Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the city’s latest plan to house the influx of asylum-seeking migrants.
Across New York City’s five boroughs, there are 157 emergency sites and roughly 45,900 migrants.
Adams unveiled a two-year partnership with New York Disaster Interfaith Services to use 50 houses of worship scattered around the city as overnight shelters for migrants.
“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 stated.
In addition to providing shelter, the mayor celebrated the plan for connecting migrants with local communities.
Starting in July, dozens of churches and other houses of worship will open their doors to nearly 1,000 asylum-seekers. Each location will provide shelter to approximately 19 single, adult men.
The city will open five daytime shelters so that the houses of worship may continue providing their regular services during the day.
In addition to shelter, New York City provides migrants with laundry services and security officers.
According to Adams, the city has already spent $1.2 billion to house and care for the asylum-seekers, which costs taxpayers around $380 per day per migrant. The city is expected to have spent $2.9 billion by next year, WNYW-TV reported.
Adams has slammed the federal government for providing the city with only $40 million to cover the cost of caring for the migrants. He stated that the funds were only enough to cover five days of shelter.
During Monday’s press conference, Adams lamented that the “serious” “national crisis” is one that the city “is facing largely on our own.” He criticized the administration for forcing New York taxpayers to foot the bill.
Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships executive director Pastor Gil Monrose called New York City “truly a city of faith.”
“Our city has witnessed an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers coming to New York City since last spring,” Monrose said. “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.”
Monrose praised the mayor’s plan as providing a “better opportunity to help migrants have a sense of hope.”
The houses of worship are not meant to act as permanent shelters, Monrose told WNYW.
“It is not a place where we are going to warehouse individuals,” Monrose stated. “It’s a place where we then give people an opportunity for hope, to be able to go on with their life. Some people may not want to stay in New York City.”
Only migrants seeking asylum — not homeless New Yorkers — are eligible to participate in the sheltering program.
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