Skip to main content
Latest NewsLocalNYCPolitics

New York City Turns To School Gyms To House New Migrants

By 05/16/2023 8:17 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

As part of its most recent endeavor to house an increasing number of international migrants who are overtaxing the city’s homeless shelter system, New York City has started converting public school gymnasiums into housing.

With six weeks left in the school year, the decision to utilize the gyms as shelters sparked an immediate outcry. Parents organized protests at many schools and threatened to keep their children at home whenever migrants arrived.

Democratic Mayor Eric Adams admitted on Tuesday that the usage of the schools was “drastic,” but he claimed that there are no other options left for the city.

He estimated that 4,200 migrants looked for accommodations in municipal shelters just last week.

Currently, 20 school gymnasiums are being evaluated as temporary housing. On Tuesday, migrants were housed in at least one in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Coney Island. Green beds and emergency supplies have recently been given to several people.

According to the mayor, the aim is to get people out of the gyms at the schools as quickly as possible.

Adams declared, “This is one of the last places we want to look.”

The number of immigrants entering the United States has substantially decreased after a pandemic-era immigration regulation expired last week.

However, several localities report an increase in newcomers, many of whom entered the country through the southern border before the policy changed.

Numerous migrants have slept on the floors of city police stations in Chicago, where authorities estimate that almost 9,000 people have arrived there since August.

This month, the city relocated or canceled summer programs while converting several park fieldhouses into “temporary respite centers,” drawing criticism from some parents.

New arrivals are being turned away from overcrowded shelters in Denver, Colorado.

Officials in New York City have looked into several unique options for housing the city’s newest citizens because everyone is guaranteed the right to shelter by a court-ordered mandate.

The city announced over the weekend that it had agreed to transform a historic hotel shuttered into a refuge with up to 1,000 rooms.

Additionally, the city has put refugees on buses headed for the northern suburbs, infuriating upstate officials and leading to litigation.

However, using school gyms offended some people.

Tuesday morning, parents demonstrated in front of a public school in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where a squat brick gym was being prepped for the entrance of migrants.

After lessons ended for the day in the afternoon, the playground was abnormally quiet.

Parents claimed that after-school activities were all held indoors and that their children had been informed they couldn’t play outside.

School buildings owned by the city and already have staff and security are believed to provide benefits. Many gyms had already been utilized to distribute vaccines during the pandemic.

Adams added that none of the gyms under consideration were a part of any school buildings; they were all independent facilities.

The usage of them by families or lone individuals, as well as the duration of the migrants’ stay, were not immediately apparent.

There are issues with the city’s decision to go outside their typical shelter options, including hotel rooms, according to Josh Goldfein, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society, which assists in monitoring the city’s handling of homeless people.

He cited a lack of shower access and adherence to the Americans with Disabilities in some school gymnasiums.

“We have a much greater concern if they move people into spaces that have not typically been used before, like office buildings, tents, and gyms,” Goldfein added.

Adams has frequently said that New York has a long history of welcoming immigrants and has surpassed its capacity for newcomers.

He has asked the federal government for assistance to fund the city and slow border crossings.


By providing your phone number, you will receive text message updates from Yid-Info. You can opt out at any time by responding STOP.

bobby bracros

Author bobby bracros

More posts by bobby bracros

Leave a Reply