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Adams administration offers NYC religious groups up to $54K a month to house migrants

A group of migrants walk down 42nd Street. Migrants around Times Square
A group of migrants walk down 42nd Street. Migrants around Times Square

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration issued a plea to faith leaders this week, asking them to open their doors to some of the thousands of migrants currently in the city’s care, The Post has learned.

The administration sent out a letter to religious groups across the Big Apple asking for volunteers to provide daytime respite centers for 150 migrants, in exchange for up to $54,000 a month.

It also asked if religious centers would be willing to house 19 other migrants at night, for up to $35,500, according to the letter obtained by The Post.

The fifth such shelter opened in Queens this week at the Rabbinical Seminary of America Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim, which will provide beds and daily meals to 15 single adults, City Hall confirmed.

Eric Adams’ administration has reached out to religious centers in New York City to pitch in on the migrant crisis. Aristide Economopoulos
Eric Adams’ administration has reached out to religious centers in New York City to pitch in on the migrant crisis. Aristide Economopoulos

The administration hopes the move will help ease the burden of housing the nearly 65,000 migrants currently in city care — with the crisis expected to cost around $10 billion through the next fiscal year.

City Hall argues the faith-based shelter system will come in much cheaper than its current emergency contracts. The average nightly cost of housing migrants came in at $383 last summer, with single adults and families scattered across the city in hotels, shelters and tent cities.

The goal is to have religious institutions provide 50 overnight shelters and five daytime centers for migrants in the coming weeks, an Adams spokesperson confirmed.

“Our response has not only required a whole-of-government effort but also included collaboration with nonprofits, community organizations, volunteers, and the faith community,” City Hall spokesperson Kayla Mamalek said when asked about the initiative.

“As Mayor Adams has said, it is not enough to be parishioners, we must also be practitioners, and congregations that participate in our faith bed program are doing just that.”

The city is willing to shell out up to $54,000 a month for religious centers to open their doors to migrants between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily, to cover janitors, shelter coordinators, security background checks for workers and laundry and other services.

Houses of worship that house migrants overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. can be reimbursed up to $35,500 a month or $65 per person a night for similar operating costs.

Centers will be required to have showers (six single stalls for daytime care and at least two stalls for overnight care) or the ability to add as well as space to prepare meals and for migrants to eat.

Daytime centers will get $5 per person for lunches and snacks while overnight shelters will get just over $6.50 for dinner and breakfast, $3.27 per meal.

The city is currently caring for just over 64,000 asylum seekers. Helayne Seidman
The city is currently caring for just over 64,000 asylum seekers. Helayne Seidman

In comparison, the city’s controversial no-bid contract with DocGo, a provider of mobile health services, was paying out $11 per meal, many of which were just getting thrown out with migrants saying the food was horrible.

Adams set a goal last month of shaving off another 10% to migrant housing costs, on top of a previous 20% reduction City Hall has already achieved.

The Maspeth faith-based shelter, though, is already receiving blowback more local Councilman Bob Holden, who called the move “completely unacceptable.”

“It’s an absolute disgrace that our city wastes millions on people who shouldn’t be here while our veterans and citizens are left homeless and forgotten,” the Queens Democrat railed.

“City Hall for years ignored a faith-based approach to housing our own, but have no problem rolling out the red carpet for migrants,” he added. “What a travesty.”