At a Monday morning press conference, Mayor Eric Adams announced the creation of a new faith-based shelter program – a two-year program in partnership with New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) – which will allow as many as fifty houses of worship to offer overnight shelter for up to 19 single men at each location.
The initiative is expected to host close to one-thousand asylum seekers, with potential for further expansion.
The city will also be opening five daytime centers which will offer these asylum-seekers services including “meals and snacks, shower facilities, social areas, and additional services,” while the faith-based spaces continue their normal programming to their members.
Since last spring, NYC has supported over 72,000 asylum seekers and has spent more than $1.2 billion just this year. It is projected to spend more than $4.3 billion by the end of June 2024. To date, the federal government has allocated a bit less than $40 million in funding, which the mayor’s office states is “enough to pay for only five days of asylum seeker costs, at current rates of spending.”
It is currently unclear where the overnight shelters and daytime centers will be located.
Former Manhattan Borough President and current Upper West Side Councilmember Gale Member also spoke during the press conference. “Right now, on the Upper West Side we have Broadway Communities, and we have St. Paul and St. Andrew, which are doing exactly what is being discussed today. They are sending people who want to go elsewhere, people are getting jobs, legal or illegal, I don’t care – they’re working. And they’re getting support from the neighborhood for the families. Clothing, everything that is needed. So that kind of personal attention is incredibly important.”