New York, NY—Today, The City published an article detailing allegations of persistent sexual harassment and abusive conditions at the GLo Hotel, a NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) emergency shelter for asylum seeker women and families operated by the 163rd Street Improvement Council. DHS has opened 175 emergency shelters for asylum seekers since last summer, in addition to 11 Humanitarian and Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRCs) run by NYC Health + Hospitals.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“All shelter residents deserve dignity and safety – nobody should have to endure the constant harassment and abuse that the residents at the GLo Hotel experienced, and those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. The Adams administration must ensure it provides safe facilities for all people in the City’s care, that vendors are properly caring for New Yorkers, and that these issues are not happening at other emergency shelters, HERRCs, respite shelters, or anywhere else the City is housing asylum seekers or shelter residents. We are calling on the Adams administration to promptly complete a thorough investigation of these allegations, take action on the findings, and assess how to improve regulatory oversight of contractors to prevent future abuses and breakdowns in procedures. Additionally, this reprehensible situation further highlights the need to move away from the costly band-aid approach of opening more emergency shelters and HERRCs. Using CityFHEPS vouchers moves long-term residents into permanent housing, thus freeing up space in our better equipped existing shelters.”