No room at the inn? As holidays approach, migrants face eviction from New York City shelters

by Gabriel Martinez
Homeless migrants NYC

As the holiday season approaches, the outlook for thousands of migrant families residing in New York City’s emergency shelter system appears bleak. With the onset of winter, these families are being informed that they must vacate their current accommodations, and there is no assurance of securing another shelter.

In October, Mayor Eric Adams issued an order limiting homeless migrants and their children to a 60-day stay in city housing. This decision was made to alleviate the strain on the shelter system, which had been overwhelmed by asylum-seekers arriving at the southern U.S. border.

For individuals like Karina Obando, a 38-year-old mother from Ecuador, this clock is ticking down rapidly. She and her two young children have been staying in a former hotel converted into a migrant shelter, the Row NYC. They have until January 5 to find alternative arrangements.

However, the future remains uncertain for families like Karina’s. After this date, they can reapply for admission to the shelter system, but placement may not be immediate. There is a possibility of being relocated to one of the city’s large tent shelters, far from where her 11-year-old son attends school.

“I told my son, ‘Take advantage. Enjoy the hotel because we have a roof right now,'” Obando expressed in Spanish. “Because they’re going to send us away, and we’re going to be sleeping on the train or on the street.”

New York City is not alone in implementing restrictions on shelter stays for homeless migrants. Several other cities in the United States have taken similar measures, citing reasons such as escalating costs, limited space, and the intention to encourage individuals to seek housing independently or leave the city.

In Chicago, a 60-day shelter limit was enforced last month, and evictions are set to commence in early January. Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey has set a cap of 7,500 migrant families in emergency shelters. Denver initially limited migrant families to 37 days but suspended the policy due to winter’s arrival, while single adults are limited to 14 days.

In New York, the first families are expected to reach their 60-day limits shortly after Christmas. However, the mayor’s office has stated that these migrants will receive extensions through early January. Approximately 3,500 families have received eviction notices so far.

Unlike most major cities, New York has a long-standing “right to shelter” policy, obligating the city to provide emergency housing to anyone in need. Nevertheless, officials have cautioned migrants that there is no guarantee they will be able to stay in the same hotel or even the same borough.

Adult migrants without children already face a shorter limit on shelter stays, set at 30 days. Those who are evicted and still require assistance are directed to the city’s “reticketing center,” which opened in late October in a former Catholic school in Manhattan’s East Village. Every day, dozens of individuals line up, hoping for a renewed stay. They are offered free one-way tickets to anywhere in the world, although most decline.

While some are able to secure another 30-day shelter stay, many leave empty-handed and must return the next day to try their luck once more. The uncertainty of sleeping on the streets weighs heavily on their minds.

Barbara Coromoto Monzon Peña, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, expressed her fear, stating, “I’m scared of dying, sleeping on the street.”

For Karina Obando, the situation is compounded by the fact that her 19-year-old son, who exhausted his 30-day allowance at the Row NYC hotel, has been unable to find rental accommodation. She is deeply concerned for his well-being.

As Mayor Adams emphasizes the city’s efforts to assist migrant families, New York continues to allocate significant resources to open shelters, provide hotel accommodations, offer meals, and assist asylum-seekers in navigating bureaucratic challenges. Nevertheless, the city’s resources are stretched thin, with over 67,200 migrants in its care and more arriving each week.

Kayla Mamelak, a spokesperson for Adams, emphasized the city’s commitment to avoiding homelessness among families and assured an organized process for requesting another 60-day stay. However, advocates for immigrants argue that the end result will still displace vulnerable families during the harshest months of the year and disrupt schooling for newly settled students.

Sending families out during winter, immediately following the holiday season, is viewed as a particularly harsh decision. It could potentially lead to lengthy commutes for children if they are placed in shelters far from their current schools.

For many migrant parents, the 60-day limit is insufficient time to secure employment, settle children into childcare or school, and save enough for rent. They emphasize the need for more time to establish stability in their lives.

Karina Obando, who arrived in the U.S. just three months ago, expressed her struggles in finding consistent work while caring for her 3-year-old daughter, with her husband still detained at the border in Arizona. She emphasized the desire for more time to improve their circumstances.

These circumstances illustrate the challenges faced by homeless migrants in New York City and other cities across the United States. While efforts are made to address the crisis, the complex issues surrounding homelessness, immigration, and shelter limitations continue to pose significant humanitarian and logistical challenges.

Note: This paraphrased and completed text provides a detailed summary of the original article, maintaining a serious and formal tone, as per your request.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Homeless migrants NYC

Q: Why are homeless migrants in New York City facing eviction during the winter?

A: Homeless migrants in New York City are facing eviction due to a 60-day limit imposed on their shelter stays by Mayor Eric Adams. This decision was made to alleviate the strain on the city’s shelter system caused by an influx of asylum-seekers.

Q: What happens to homeless migrant families after their 60-day shelter limit expires?

A: After reaching the 60-day limit, homeless migrant families can reapply for admission to the shelter system. However, there is no guarantee of immediate placement, and they may be relocated to tent shelters far from their current location.

Q: How are other U.S. cities addressing the issue of homeless migrants in shelters?

A: Several U.S. cities, including Chicago and Massachusetts, have also imposed limits on shelter stays for homeless migrants, citing reasons such as escalating costs and limited space. Denver had initially limited shelter stays for migrant families but suspended the policy due to winter.

Q: What support measures is New York City providing to homeless migrants?

A: New York City is allocating significant resources to assist homeless migrants, including opening shelters, providing hotel accommodations, meals, and assistance with bureaucratic challenges. Mayor Adams emphasizes the city’s commitment to treating families humanely.

Q: How are homeless migrant children affected by these shelter limitations?

A: Homeless migrant children may potentially face lengthy commutes to school if they are relocated to shelters far from their current schools. This can disrupt their education and add to the challenges faced by their families.

Q: What are the concerns of homeless migrant parents regarding the 60-day shelter limit?

A: Homeless migrant parents express concerns about the limited time provided by the 60-day shelter limit. They argue that it is insufficient to secure employment, settle children into school or childcare, and save enough for rent, and they emphasize the need for more time to establish stability.

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JournalismFan42 December 16, 2023 - 12:09 pm

Mayor says migrant time’s up, no beds, oh no!

ConcernedCitizen77 December 16, 2023 - 3:17 pm

kids sufferin’ too, dat ain’t right, dey need more time 2 stabilize.

NYCResident42 December 16, 2023 - 3:57 pm

evictions in winter? cruel, no heart, smh.

Reader01 December 16, 2023 - 4:53 pm

poor peeps evicted in cold, yikes, sad!

HopefulSoul55 December 16, 2023 - 5:25 pm

Mayor Adams, pls help dese families, it’s a tough time, need humanity.

InfoSeeker23 December 16, 2023 - 8:27 pm

NYC ain’t alone, otha cities doin’ dis too, costz n space issues i guess.

EmpathyFirst December 16, 2023 - 11:40 pm

This tough, need more help for homeless peeps.

CuriousMind55 December 17, 2023 - 12:14 am

Migrant mama’s job hunt, tough, agree, need more time.

NYCobserver December 17, 2023 - 12:49 am

So, other cities, like Chicago, also kickin’ folks out?

Reader123 December 17, 2023 - 8:13 am

wow, dis is a big problem for dem homeless migrants in nyc, hope dey get some help soon!


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