Line of asylum seekers moved from outside Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown

The line of migrants waiting for days outside the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown is finally gone, but the ongoing crisis to find shelter for the influx of asylum seekers remains.

Mayor Eric Adam’s Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack said the city was able to move about 130 migrants from in front of the hotel Wednesday night to a church in Long Island City, Queens.

“We’ve talked about a faith-based bed program,” Varlack said. “We were able to connect with a church that had availability so we could move approximately 130 asylum seekers into that location.”

It is the first time since Saturday that asylum seekers were not sleeping outside the hotel, which serves as a migrant welcome center. But despite clearing the area outside the hotel, the city still has a lot of work to do to find a more permanent housing solution as migrants continue to pour in.

“As we have emphasized repeatedly, with nearly 100,000 asylum seekers that have come through our intake system since spring 2022 and hundreds more continuing to arrive in our city asking for shelter on a daily basis, New York City has been left alone to deal with a national crisis that demands difficult and swift decision-making,” a spokesperson for Mayor Adams said.

The scene outside the former hotel has underscored the extreme overcrowding in a homeless housing system filled to record levels.

Ted Long of the city’s Health + Hospitals said the city will “do everything in our power to avoid forming a line again” outside the hotel.

He said that if a line forms again, it’s because the city “exhausted all options we can and we need the federal government to help.”

To that end, the Mayor’s Office on Thursday said that an undisclosed number of asylum seekers will be placed in the McCarren Recreation Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, the Legal Aid Society and Coalition for the Homeless says they will be in court at 11 a.m. on Friday for an “emergency court conference on the right to shelter.”

“Earlier this week, we warned the city of imminent litigation should new arrivals and other New Yorkers in need of shelter continue to languish on local streets, particularly in front of the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan,” the Legal Aid Society said in a joint statement.

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