Thousands trying to enter shelter system as capacity is low

While migrants are looking to get into the shelter system, thousands of New Yorkers are trying to receive the same accommodations, despite little shelter space available.

News 12 Staff

Sep 8, 2022, 2:30 AM

Updated 584 days ago

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While migrants are looking to get into the shelter system, thousands of New Yorkers are trying to receive the same accommodations, despite little shelter space available.  
Abass is one New Yorker who says he needs one thing – a space with one bedroom.  
He and his 16-year-old son, who is autistic, have lived in New York City shelters since 2021, and Abass had to stop working in order to take care of his son.  
Abass says that his son’s doctors told him a one-bedroom was necessary for his son’s well-being, and despite three different transfers, have been put in a studio every time.  
“His therapist said he needs his space because of his condition,” said Abass. ”He needs to feel like he’s not being cramped.” 
Kathryn Kliff, of the Legal Aid Society, says the capacity rate in shelters has been below 1% since June 3.  
“It’s a system that houses right now over 10,000 families with minor children,” said Kliff. “And you know, we’re talking about 20 or 30 units on a given night, so that’s very concerning.  
City statistics show that the number of individuals and families in shelters increases daily. From January to June, the number of families in shelters remained below 9,000. In July, that number jumped to nearly 9,500 and even reached peaks of over 10,000 in August.  
The capacity rate includes emergency shelters, which the city has opened 17 of in the last 90 days. 


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