Advertisement

Quarter of NYC homeless youth beds being taken up by migrant children: officials

Child lying on a couch holding a phone, Keith Howard, Althea Stevens
Child lying on a couch holding a phone, Keith Howard, Althea Stevens

About a quarter of New York City shelter beds designated for runaway and homeless youth are being taken up by migrant children, officials revealed Friday.

The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) confirmed there were only 813 beds available in city shelters, 60 of which were allocated to young adults age 21-24, during a City Council budget hearing Friday.

It came as South Bronx Councilwoman Althea Stevens grilled DYCD Commissioner Keith Howard about how the migrant crisis was affecting the availability of beds for New York City’s homeless youth and young adults.

About a quarter of New York City shelter beds designated for runaway and homeless youth are being taken up by migrant children, officials revealed Friday. shironosov
About a quarter of New York City shelter beds designated for runaway and homeless youth are being taken up by migrant children, officials revealed Friday. shironosov

“Even before the asylum seekers we didn’t have enough beds, so I’m never gonna let that go. So can we all agree? Do we have enough beds for young adults, what’s the answer? No,” Stevens fumed.

“No, you’re not gonna say it?” she barked at Howard.

DYCD officials said the migrant crisis has had a wide-ranging effect on existing programs including the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) — a program to address disparities among black and Latino men between the ages of 16 and 24 — and the Comprehensive After School System of NYC (COMPASS).

COMPASS formerly known as the Out-of-School Time (OST) Program, is made up of over 890 programs serving young people enrolled in grades K-12.

“There’s been an influx of migrants in the last two years, that is very much a serious strain on any city and city resources,” Howard said.

The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYDC) confirmed there were only 813 beds available in shelters, 60 of which were allocated to 21 to 24-year-old’s. Paul Martinka
The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYDC) confirmed there were only 813 beds available in shelters, 60 of which were allocated to 21 to 24-year-old’s. Paul Martinka
It came as South Bronx Councilwoman Althea Stevens grilled DYCD Commissioner Keith Howard about how the migrant crisis was affecting the availability of beds for New York City’s homeless youth and young adults. Helayne Seidman
It came as South Bronx Councilwoman Althea Stevens grilled DYCD Commissioner Keith Howard about how the migrant crisis was affecting the availability of beds for New York City’s homeless youth and young adults. Helayne Seidman

Stevens said youth services can’t “always take the hit” when the city is strapped for cash, suggesting cutting such programs would lead to higher costs in the future.

“If we’re not investing in our young people, we’re going to spend so much more money on them while they’re in the juvenile justice system and once they’re there, they’re going to end up in Rikers, it’s a continuous cycle,” she said.

It’s the latest budget cuts affecting NYC youth to offset surging costs of the migrant crisis.

This week the city’s free universal pre-K and 3-K classes, which are funded by the soon-to-be expired stimulus cash, separately are facing $170 million in potential reductions overall this fiscal year amid a string of citywide budget cuts.