Monday, August 14, 2023 8:41AM
MIDLAND BEACH, Staten Island (WABC) — Staten Island residents gathered Saturday in Midland Beach to speak up about transforming a former nursing home into a migrant shelter after it was closed.
For Jeffrey Sinclair, the nursing home housed his mom before she died.
“This place provided a great stopgap for a year. We were very fortunate to provide this place,” Sinclair said.
Sinclair and others say transforming the nursing home into a migrant shelter is not ideal – especially as the community still recovers from Superstorm Sandy.
“That was 10 years ago – take care of our veterans, take care of our American homeless, take care of our mentally ill,” said Midland Beach resident Thea Friscia.
Staten Island Council Member David Carr and his colleagues wrote to city leaders asking to cancel the migrant shelter.
“They expect it to open in the fall. We don’t know exactly what that means at that stage. We don’t know the exact – it could house hundreds of migrants here, it’s supposed to house families with children. And it’s not an influx of individuals that this neighborhood could sustain,” Carr said.
The city released a statement saying in part,
“As we’ve said multiple times, with nearly 100,000 asylum seekers coming through our intake system last spring, all options remain on the table and we still desperately need help from our state and Federal partners.”
On Staten Island, residents like Sinclair say the uncertainty is bothersome, but he, along with Midland Beach residents will continue to speak up.
“We want people from everywhere in the world. I’m an immigrant descendant. The bottom line is this is the country that takes immigrants in, but let’s do it in an organized fashion,” said Sinclair.
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