Joint Statement from Legal Aid, Coalition for the Homeless in Response to Reporting that the City is Considering Sheltering Migrants on Cruise Ships

(NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society and Coalition for the Homeless issued the following statement in response to reporting that the City is considering sheltering migrants on cruise ships:

“Cruise ships are not designed to provide shelter and services to homeless people, especially those with disabilities, and they will likely be docked in locations that would impede critical access to jobs, health care, schools, child care, community-based services, and much more. They also raise potential public health issues with respect to coronavirus transmission.

This Administration must focus on transitioning New Yorkers, especially those who have languished at local shelters for long periods of time, out of shelters and into permanent housing. As we have shared with the City, a solution that we have proposed is eliminating bureaucratic red tape and broadening access to local housing vouchers, including CityFHEPS. Helping people move to permanent housing more quickly would bolster shelter capacity across the board so the City can accommodate new entrants to the system.

The City has assured us that any new shelters would comply with all applicable rules and court orders, and we look forward to reviewing a plan to ensure that this remains the case with any new sites that come online, including potential cruise ships.”