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Another mega-migrant shelter set to open in Queens converted office building: City Hall officials

Sep. 6, 2023 By Ethan Stark-Miller

As the city continues to contend with thousands of migrants arriving in the Big Apple each week, Mayor Eric Adams is standing up yet another mega-migrant shelter in a converted Queens office building, his administration announced on Wednesday.

The latest “Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center” (HERRC) will be located at 47-11 Austell Place in the Long Island City section of Queens and will eventually house up to 1,000 single-adult male migrants, according to City Hall. However, the shelter will start out by sheltering 330 asylum seekers and will gradually up its capacity, with it expected to open by the end of week.

The site will be the city’s 16th HERRC, according to Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom, and the latest of over 200 sites the city has brought online to house tens of thousands of new arrivals. It had previously served as one of the city’s “respite centers” — short term migrant shelters designed to be “waiting rooms,” while the administration finds more permanent placements for people.

Adams, in a statement, said opening the relief center is necessary as over 110,100 migrants have poured into Gotham over the past year, with nearly 60,000 currently in the city’s care. But the mayor addressed that more financial support and other resources from the state and federal governments are still sorely needed.

“The transition of this site into a new humanitarian relief center at Austell Place is an important next step in our efforts to do our part, but, as we’ve said month after month, only more support from our state and federal partners and real policy change in Washington will truly address this crisis,” he said.

The building housing the site was converted by the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC), which conducted work like installing a new boiler and building a new exterior landing, according to DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. The facility will be managed by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). 

The housing agency’s commissioner, Adolfo Carrión Jr., said during a weekly migrant crisis briefing on Wednesday that the site will offer a wide range of services. Carrión said those services include medical staff, case management to assist with legal matters and reticketing to other locations throughout the state and country.

Williams-Isom during the briefing noted that, unlike other recently opened humanitarian relief centers in the parking lot of Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center or on Randall’s Island, the latest facility won’t be paid for by Albany. Governor Kathy Hochul has also pledged to fund another 2,000-bed facility that will likely be placed at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, pending the approval of a contract with the federal government.

The site, Williams-Isom said, shows the migrant influx is still very much a crisis slamming the city every day. She, however, bemoaned the fact that the city’s unique legal requirement to provide shelter to anyone seeking it has incentivized a seemingly endless flow of migrants here.

“Before it was like the kind of the right-to-shelter and what’s going on in New York, it was like our little secret,” she said. “Now the whole globe knows that if you go to New York City, we’re going to do what we always do, right? We have a big heart. We have compassion. We’re gonna take care of people.”

“And while we love that and we are so proud of that, I think in a way it’s being used against us and I am frustrated by that,” she added. “And I would like to kind of slow down what’s happening at the front door a little bit.”

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Enough is enough

I am fine with humanitarian efforts – but at some point there MUST be a realization that this is what is preventing smaller classroom sizes, access to good hospital care, and drives rental prices up, etc.
We pay taxes, but others abuse the system. I’ve watched shirtless ‘men’ at the triangle park at 55th st ogle and follow women up and down the Roosevelt Ave. Are you okay with that for your mother, your sister, your daughter? We don’t know who these people are – unlike those who receive visa’s.
To add insult to injury, a neighbor who I know for a fact is undocumented has 3 cars, gets free medical, works cash in hand, always has the best clothing. That’s great – except if they paid taxes like we do – they wouldn’t have any of that! I say – make them legal- make them pay for the years they’ve raped the system, document them, and make them pay their fair share in taxes! And like every other green card holder – if they f up, send them back where they came from.
Enough is enough – can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’m voting Republican in the next election. NYC is anti citizens, and pro-law breakers. Enough is enough


I’m middle class – moving out of the city. I sure hope you young progressives and the influx of uneducated, untrained immigrants can sustain your tax base here. Sayonara. Off to better pastures.


Why do I have to pay for these people to come to this city and country and have a better life than me. The middle class in this city is just being crushed and should leave.

Tom J

I love how they call it humanitarian relief. It’s a bold lie. They’re simply people that want to be here. Statistically speaking, no vetting means a percentage will be criminals, mentally ill, no skills etc. in a state that’s over 200 billion in debt. Parts of Jackson Heights already has open prostitution on the streets. The new arrivals are currently costing the city about 3 million a day. The fools that support this will pay dearly in additional taxes in the near future as well as pressure on every city and state service.

will vote republican first time ‘24

the beautiful renovated austell buildings?? is that why they did this? unbelieveable. Self inflicted democratic progressive mess BIG TIME

Skillman Lady

Understood but disappointing news. How about instead we turn it into affordable housing units for long term shelter stayers?


Why doesn’t everyone except Hispanics and liberals just move out and let them take over the whole city.

mark lemke

Why dont YOU move out since you seem convinced this is some kind of hostile takeover instead of a humanitarian crisis.


Mark Lemke Should we allow 50 million immigrants in and anyone who questions it is called a racist. Liberal idiots like yourself need to understand that there has to be a system in place. The politicians and dopes like yourself are at fault in this immigration crisis. And yes I will move out and will leave the city to you and the rest of the big mouth low income earners to destroy what was once a great city.


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