NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — As the New York City struggles to provide services for asylum seekers, a repurposed jail in Harlem could open to migrants as early as Thursday.
City officials say they hope the site of former Lincoln Correctional Facility is up and running in the next day or two.
Crews have been transforming the building for its new mission.
The site is a temporary option for long-term housing.
Meanwhile, Governor Kathy Hochul continues to pressure the federal government for additional funding to handle the influx of migrants.
“We’re looking for more money. We want work authorization,” Hochul said. “I believe that peoples’ attitudes about these individuals will change dramatically once they can receive legal work status.
More than 72,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City since the beginning of the crisis last spring.
New Yorkers in all parts of the city are coming together to help with the crisis.
At The Little Shop of Kindness on West 40th Street, most people come for the shoes, but they have just about any clothes you could want, and all of them are free.
“We will never have enough, but we will do what we can,” said Ilsa Thielman of Team TLC NYC.
The Little Shop of Kindness is a store reserved only for the people seeking asylum in the city right now, who arrive on buses with almost nothing.
The mayor says the number of migrants has overwhelmed the city’s ability to care for them, but it hasn’t overwhelmed the effort to try.
Pastor Everette Samuels is with the church that donates the space. He says you can never do enough to go all out and help.
The number of incoming migrants has dropped from nearly 6,000 a week in mid-May to about 2,200 last week, and the numbers may be much lower than the city is letting on.
“We have less people coming into the city and less people coming into the country,” activist Power Malu said.
Border crossings are drastically lower since Title 42 expired and Malu says the city’s numbers don’t reflect what people in the field are seeing, even as New York City keeps saying the numbers are astronomical.
Whatever the precise number is, the city and regular New Yorkers are doing what they can to help the latest wave of migrants.
The Little Shop of Kindness runs entirely on donations.
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