NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City has come up with a new way to house asylum seekers. Mayor Eric Adams is now turning to faith-based organizations.
Under a new faith-based shelter program, nearly 1,000 asylum seekers will receive shelter at houses of worship. It comes as New York City continues to struggle to find housing for migrants.
“No matter what faith you practice, it is in all of our faith that we are supposed to care for those who are in need. Not only is it on the Statue of Liberty, but it is on our text that we look and read and study from,” said Adams.
The mayor announced the two-year partnership between the city and the New York Disaster Interfaith Services on Monday. Under the plan, up to 50 houses of worship or faith-based spaces will each offer overnight shelter to 19 single adult men.
“Through our hard times and difficult crises, our faith leaders and communities have been there for New Yorkers over and over again. We believe this is the step in another direction that we can help address this crisis that we are facing,” said Adams.
Faith leaders said the partnership is a natural fit.
“Our opportunity here is to work with houses of worship that have a sacred calling to offer hospitality to the stranger and to give them dignity and hope when they have potentially lost that along their journey here to the United States,” said Peter Gudaitis, executive director and CEO of New York Disaster Interfaith Services.
During the day when the houses of worship are operating, the city is also opening five daytime centers to support the asylum seekers.
The plan comes as New York City has nearly 50,000 asylum seekers currently in its care.
The mayor added he is also now considering paying New York residents to house asylum seekers in their own homes.
“There are residents who are suffering right now because of economic challenges. They have spare rooms. They have locales, and if we can find a way to get over the 30-day rule and other rules that the government has in its place, we can take that $4.2 billion, $4.3 billion maybe even now, that we potentially have to spend, and we can put it back in the pockets of everyday New Yorkers,” Adams said.