A new migrant relief center for single adult men will soon open in Red Hook, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Saturday.
The planned relief center at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is expected to house 1,000 single adult men when it opens, along with additional newly arriving men as space permits. It will provide them with housing, medical treatment and other services — including relocation assistance for those with final destinations outside of the five boroughs — until it closes in time for cruise season this spring, according to Adams’ office.
The site will take in single adult men currently staying at the Watson Hotel in Midtown, which will be converted to a center for migrant families with children.
The mayor’s office did not specify an official opening date, but an email from City Hall that was shared with Gothamist said the site could open as early as next week.
However, migrant advocates expressed concerns with the site’s location, which they said was “in a high-risk flood zone… and will needlessly expose future residents to the elements during some of the coldest months of the year.”
“Hotels have always been the better short-term option, in contrast to erecting tents in inaccessible parts of New York City that are prone to flooding,” continued the joint statement from the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless.
The new relief site in Brooklyn will be the fifth site of its kind to open in the city since tens of thousands of migrants began arriving from border states like Texas under Republican leadership last spring. The city estimates that 41,000 migrants, many of them also seeking asylum, have arrived since then. On Saturday afternoon, the mayor said the city was “at its breaking point.”
“We continue to surpass both our moral and legal obligations and meet the needs of people arriving in New York, but as the number of asylum-seekers continues to grow, we are in serious need of support from both our state and federal governments,” Adams said in a statement.
The influx of migrants, who are mostly coming from Central and South America, has tested New York’s identity as a haven for those fleeing persecution and hardship in their home countries. Adams has repeatedly pleaded with the Biden administration for assistance, calling it a national crisis that merited a stronger response from Washington.
Arya Sundaram contributed reporting.