“The announcement that Mayor Adams’ administration will enact a policy forcing migrant families to leave shelters after 60 days and place them in congregate settings is irresponsible and demonstrates poor planning. It risks creating chaos, disrupting the ability for children to successfully attend their schools, situating them in unsafe conditions and at worst, leaving families to sleep in the city’s streets. It is yet another troubling sign that the Mayor is either incapable or unwilling to effectively manage these challenges in collaboration with the city’s stakeholders.
“The administration’s shelter limit policy was originally presented as a means to accommodate families by applying it to only single adults without children. Instead of collaborating with the countless stakeholders to develop a solution that enables our city to effectively manage with compassion, this policy would represent the mayor again opting for a unilateral approach that disregards the well-being of individuals, and specifically children. Such a policy would seem to be geared towards harming people rather than aiding them, further destabilizing children and families.
“The rationale behind any such policy must be questioned, and requires not only further details but a more thoughtful and humane approach. What is the rationale behind this policy change? What does ‘semi-congregate’ actually mean, and what steps will be taken to prioritize the safety of children placed in these settings? What measures will the administration take to address the potential disruption that it will cause for children who are already enrolled in our schools?
“Our city and its reputation will be threatened if this policy is advanced in the dysfunctional way it has been announced. I urge the administration to pursue more sound management in consideration for human life and the best interests of our city. The image of New York presented to the world should not be one that is callous and ineffective, when our city is a beacon of compassion, resilience, and empathy.”