Rec center in McCarren Park to house asylum seekers

August 4, 2023

Photo © 6sqft

New York City is preparing to house asylum seekers in a recreation center in Brooklyn’s McCarren Park starting this weekend, Politico reports. Roughly 80 to 100 people will be housed within one wing of the Williamsburg rec center. Officials say public access to the pool and fitness center will not be impacted by the new shelter.

The announcement comes days after Mayor Eric Adams announced the city had run out of space for arriving asylum seekers, leading to a growing crowd of migrants camped outside Midtown’s Roosevelt Hotel waiting for temporary shelter.

City officials are also considering Sunset Park as another shelter, with approximately 100 migrants being able to stay in the Sunset Park recreation center, according to Politico.

In a joint statement, Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, State Sen. Kristen Gonzalez, Assembly Member Emily Gallagher, and Council Members Lincoln Restler and Jennifer Gutiérrez said every community has the responsibility to “open its doors and provide shelter to those greatest in need.”

“We will continue pushing to secure more appropriate facilities to house people in need and expedite moving New Yorkers from our shelter system into vacant permanent housing. In the interim, we will do whatever we can to galvanize compassion and support for our new temporary neighbors,” the pols said.

City officials have said that there are no options off the table in terms of new shelter locations, with Central Park and other green spaces across the city being carefully considered by the Adams administration. In terms of clearing the streets outside of the Roosevelt Hotel, the administration is seeking nearby Manhattan properties to help house some of the migrants who have nowhere else to stay.

In June, city officials revealed that NYC’s shelter system surpassed 100,000 occupants for the first time, more than half of whom are asylum seekers. On Thursday the number had risen to roughly 107,000.


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