New York City officials are contemplating the distribution of tents to new migrants and establishing campground-like accommodations in public parks.
According to inside sources, this consideration arises as the city strategizes for the possible next stage in its ongoing asylum seeker dilemma.
Mayor Eric Adams and other authorities have been exploring this possibility and are looking for suitable large outdoor areas to handle the continuous surge of newcomers.
The details of the emerging proposal surfaced a mere day following a warning from the city’s mayor that migrants may soon find themselves without shelter, as the city has reached its capacity to accommodate the 65,000 individuals currently under its care.
Although the city has already established temporary Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers, such as those on Randall’s Island and at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, the new plan could involve setting up campgrounds in parks and other outdoor areas.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Adams did not mention the tent distribution idea for new migrants but emphasized that his administration was seeking a “humane” solution for the strained shelter system.
“We are out of room, and it’s not if people will be sleeping on the streets, it’s when. We are at full capacity,” Adams declared.
Furthermore, Adams acknowledged that his team had discussions with international leaders about managing tent settlements. He stressed the importance of addressing the situation effectively to avoid the proliferation of tent cities and ensure access to basic amenities like restrooms and showers.
The mayor remarked, “The chief of staff and I were on a call yesterday with those who do this in other countries to figure out what we can do to manage this the best way possible.”
However, Adams remained noncommittal when asked about establishing more tent city shelters or encampments. He mentioned that the city explored various options and highlighted the costs associated with tents and other necessities.
The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless immediately criticized the potential plan, expressing concern that distributing tents before winter could endanger lives.
Their statement read, “People freezing to death on the streets is the exact nightmare that the Right to Shelter was designed to prevent.”
The Legal Aid Society warned against relegating long-time residents and newcomers to sleeping in public spaces exposed to the elements.