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It’s Friday, Don’t Ask Too Many Questions About NYC’s New Camps For Asylum Seekers

NYC is building camps for asylum seekers, city council redistricting clusterfucks, and more end-of-week news.

9:30 AM EDT on September 23, 2022

A leaf hangs from a tree signifying fall.

@matty10 / Unsplash

The Adams administration wants New Yorkers to get used to the idea that we will be housing human beings in tents for a little while.

On Thursday, the Mayor's Office released a statement that said the City would be building two large tent shelters, or "Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers"—one at Orchard Beach, and another at a location to be determined, to house the busloads of asylum seekers who are arriving here from Texas and other parts of the country.

The press release noted that the temporary shelters will provide people with "services" and can house them "approximately 24 to 96 hours (these times are subject to change depending on the situation)," but not much else. There was no press conference, and the mayor doesn't have a press conference on his schedule today either.

To prepare New Yorkers for the sight of people living in tents, City Hall released photos of what the shelters would look like.

Advocates, mutual aid groups, and some elected officials, who have picked up the City's slack to help asylum seekers, were appalled by the announcement from an administration that has made it clear they want to "reassess" New York's fundamental right to shelter law, and used words like "devastating," and "disturbing."

The Mayor's Office objected when Bronx Mutual Aid invoked "concentration camps."

Why is Adams building these shelters now, when there were thousands more people staying in temporary shelters in New York City just a few years ago? The Times has a good diagnosis of the problem: The City closed decrepit, inhuman temporary shelters faster than they can open new ones. Combine that with a severe shortage of actually affordable housing and voila, crisis.

The situation reminds us of something Eric Adams likes to say:

Here are some other stories we're reading:

    • The NYPD got three NYC drill rappers kicked off the bill at Rolling Loud this weekend and the festival and the cops refused to talk to the New York Times about it.
    • Eric Adams is bailing on Bill de Blasio's 3-K for all initiative, mostly because federal funding is drying up. If Bill could force the state to pay for pre-K, couldn't Adams do the same with 3-K? Or has New York City lost its swag?
    • The New York City Redistricting Council voted down new redistricting maps because apparently, incumbent politicians don't like surprises. Incredible democracy we have here.
    • Streetsblog's devastating look at how DOT vacancies are sapping a powerful agency of its effectiveness is a must-read.
    • Toot toot! *cough cough* Toot....tooooottt.
    • Project Veritas is losing lawsuits but somehow they are still getting this teacher at Trinity School fired?
    • The guy who was arrested on Staten Island for patting Rudy Giuliani on the back and calling him a "scumbag" is suing the City for $2 million. Perhaps he'll settle for a parade in the Canyon of Heroes.
    • God dammit I must have this stump.
    • If you went to the Shrek Rave...drop us a line.
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