Joint Statement from Legal Aid, Coalition for the Homeless on the City’s Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center Moving to Randall’s Island

(NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society and Coalition for the Homeless issued the following statement on the City’s Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center moving to Randall’s Island:

“Many of the concerns we and others have expressed about the initial Orchard Beach location also apply to Randall’s Island. The City must look to other solutions instead of tent cities, where our clients will be isolated, vulnerable to extreme weather, and far from public transportation and other critical services.

Hotels have always been the better short-term option, rather than erecting tents in inaccessible parts of New York City. Furthermore, right now, this Administration can unilaterally remove the many bureaucratic barriers that plague its housing voucher process to transition more homeless New Yorkers from shelters into safe, permanent housing. Doing so would free up shelter capacity for new entrants into the system.

While we appreciate City Hall’s commitment to the right to shelter, the flooding at Orchard Beach should serve as a canary in a coal mine, and the Adams Administration must abandon this wrongheaded plan in favor of the actions we’ve been advocating for since the beginning of this crisis.”