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Mayor Adams Announces Placement of Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center to Assist Single Adult Men Seeking Asylum, City Will Demobilize Randall's Island Relief Center

November 10, 2022

Fourth Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center to Be Located at Midtown Hotel  

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the city will soon open a fourth Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center that will serve asylum seekers arriving in New York City. As the estimated number of asylum seekers in New York City surpasses at least 23,800, this specific humanitarian relief center will assist newly arriving single adult men and provide them with a range of services, in addition to ensuring they can reach their desired destination, if not New York City. This humanitarian relief center will be located at the Watson Hotel in midtown Manhattan and will include 600 rooms to serve asylum seekers.  

While they continue to arrive, the speed at which the number of single adult males seeking asylum in New York City has slowed in recent weeks and, as such, the city will demobilize the Randall’s Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center next week. Occupants at the Randall’s Island center will be offered transport to the Watson Hotel beginning next week. Humanitarian relief centers will become the first touch point for arriving asylum seekers, helping people by immediately offering shelter, food, medical care, case work services, and a range of settlement options. 

“We continue to welcome asylum seekers arriving in New York City with compassion and care. This Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center will provide asylum seekers with a place to stay, access support, and get to their final destination,” said Mayor Adams. “The city is currently caring for over 17,500 asylum seekers, a number that continues to grow steadily. We will continue to pivot and shift as necessary to deal with this humanitarian crisis, but it’s clear that we still need financial assistance from our state and federal partners.” 

“As always, our priority is to ensure people are safe and that their immediate, critical needs are met,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. “The use of this space as another humanitarian relief center is a smart approach to this unprecedented crisis. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our response, as necessary, to ensure the most effective care is being provided.” 

“From the onset of this humanitarian crisis, we assured asylum seekers that New York City would support them in every way possible,” said New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “The opening of this fourth humanitarian relief center confirms that commitment by providing them with the resources required to begin this next chapter in their lives.”  

“As the demands of this crisis evolve, we will continue to welcome asylum seekers with New York City’s compassion and effectiveness to support them as they complete their journey,” said Ted Long, MD, MHS, senior vice president, Ambulatory Care and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “This fourth Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center at the Watson Hotel will help achieve that mission, connecting adult men to meals, medical care, mental health support, language access, technology, and resettlement. We remain steadfast in our commitment to those seeking a better life in our country, and I am proud to be a part of the Adams administration in helping make that possible.” 

Since this humanitarian crisis began, the city has — largely on its own — taken fast and urgent action, managing the arrival of a rapidly increasing number of buses across New York City with virtually no coordination from states sending them — opening 58 hotels as emergency shelters and three humanitarian relief centers already, standing up a navigation center to connect asylum seekers with critical resources, enrolling children in public schools through Project Open Arms, and more.