The number of homeless people in New York City shelters rose 53% over the past year, fueled largely by the influx of asylum seekers to the city.
“The numbers seem to match with what we're seeing,” said Juan De La Cruz, director of emergency relief services at the Coalition for the Homeless.
Mayor Eric Adams released his Preliminary Management Reportcomparing data and performance of city agencies for the first four months of the 2024 fiscal year with data from the same period a year earlier.
The report using data from July through October of 2023 says an average of 84,000 people were housed in city-run shelters each day during the quarterly period, compared to only 55,000 individuals in 2022.
De la Cruz has been on the front lines of the crisis. He says he has seen the significant surge of asylum seekers.
“We normally would serve anywhere from 250, sometimes 275 people. Currently we are serving over 400 people,” said De La Cruz. “The majority of the folks that we're serving are newly arrived folks.”
The report says migrant arrivals were responsible for a 147% increase in entries to shelters housing families with children, and a 185% rise in shelters housing adult families only.
Mayor Adams continues to call on the federal government to expedite the work authorizations of asylum seekers in the city.
“People need to work. Nothing is more anti-American than not having the right to work,” said Adams.
The mayor praised New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who recently agreed to a proposal that could allow migrants to get temporary jobs in the state government.
“I think what the governor has attempted to do, if it’s accurate, is to find creative ways to do so. I applaud her,” said Adams.
“I speak to these folks daily and the one constant question that I get is ‘Do you have a job for me?’” said De La Cruz.
More than 170,000 migrants have arrived in the Big Apple since the spring of 2022, prompting the city to open more than 200 emergency shelters.
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