Immigrant Advocates Urge NYC to Reclassify Respite & Relief Centers as Shelters

New York, NY—Today, NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced the opening of a new Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center (HERRC) at Randall’s Island, in partnership with New York State. This announcement followed on the heels of the opening of a new respite site for recently arrived asylum seekers at the Sunset Park Recreation Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Theodore A. Moore, Vice President of Policy & Programs, New York Immigration Coalition:
“Unlike shelter residents, individuals staying at respite or relief centers are unable to utilize their location as an official address for identification purposes, especially when applying for documents like IDNYC, which makes it even harder for them to access social services essential for their adjustment to their new lives within our city. We are urging the Adams Administration to designate respite and relief centers as shelters and shift its focus from creating more temporary housing to one that prioritizes permanent housing for more New Yorkers stuck in our shelter system using CityFHEPS vouchers. This would empower asylum seekers to access essential services to get on the road to self-sufficiency while providing more supportive and cost-effective housing solutions.”