Monday, August 7, 2023 8:25PM
RANDALL’S ISLAND (WABC) — After days of immigrants sleeping on the streets outside a hotel in Midtown, New York City is unveiling a new plan for housing.
Like a prior plan last fall, it calls for building a shelter on Randall’s Island – this time on soccer fields.
The city says this new facility would hold two thousand adult men.
The state is supposed to fund the operation, but questions still remain – like how will this shelter differ from the previous one, which did close.
“As the number of asylum seekers in our care continues to grow by hundreds every day, stretching our system to its breaking point and beyond, it has become more and more of a Herculean effort to find enough beds every night,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “We’re grateful to Governor Hochul and New York State for their partnership in opening this new humanitarian relief center and covering the costs, and we need more of the same from all levels of government.
The West Side Soccer League, which is one of the groups who uses those fields, has created a petition to stop the new facility, saying that the new facility could mean s loss for youth organizations in the fall.
The league sent an email saying in part,
“As you may have heard, the NYC government is considering the use of soccer fields on Randall’s Island for use as a shelter for newly-arrived immigrants. Under this plan, a shelter would be constructed on Fields 82-85, which is normally used for children’s recreational activities. And although we don’t currently use those fields as much in the Fall, their loss for all youth organizations may mean we lose other field space as all spaces get shifted around to compensate for the loss of this field time. Additionally, the impact to the condition of the fields would mean that even when the fields are returned for youth soccer programming, their condition would likely be so bad their use will be limited and it will take time to repair.”
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