On Wednesday (October 19), an 84,000-square-foot tent shelter built in Manhattan’s Randall’s Island to house migrants will open its doors.
The tents will house the single men bussed from southern-border states to New York City. The space is set up to facilitate up to 500 single men with 500 cots, a cafeteria, laundry facilities, entertainment centers, and phones.
The city has also stated it will be able to double the space if needed.
Since southern border states began bussing migrants in the spring, New York City has become the final destination for over 18,000 migrants, placing enormous strain on the city’s homeless shelter systems.
Earlier in the month, New York City mayor Eric Adams declared the influx of migrants — and their subsequent need for housing — was “not sustainable.”
The tents’ purpose is to house the single male migrants — many of whom are Venezuelan — that arrive at the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan. The facility will give these men temporary accommodation while the city assesses the next steps.
Initially, the tents were to be set up in the Bronx Orchard Beach but were scrapped after advocates raised concerns about flooding.
The tents were then moved to Randall’s Island, which officials say is safe from flooding and the tents — which can withstand wind speeds of 90mph — will handle the balmy temperature.
According to reporting by Fox 5, the move cost the city $325,000 and another $325,000 to have the tents set up again.
The single men housed in the tents will receive South American-style cuisine, with tea, coffee, and snacks available throughout the day; busses will run from the location every hour with a curfew set at 10 p.m. ET.