Approximately 50 places of worship in New York City will house foreign nationals who have recently migrated to the United States.
Each location will accommodate 19 single adult males starting in July, FOX5 reported. The city expects almost 1,000 migrants will be sheltered in these places of worship by August. New York City will also open five daytime centers to provide the foreign nationals with legal assistance and other services.
“It’s a first for the city, it’s the first for us,” Pastor Gilford Monrose, the executive director of the NYC Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships, remarked.
New York City will spend $85 a night to house each foreign national, plus additional costs like laundry services and security. A spokesperson for Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said it would cost roughly $125 per night for each migrant after factoring in all costs.
“No matter what faith you practice, caring for those in need is part of every spiritual tradition,” said Adams. “I’m proud that through this new partnership with New York Disaster Interfaith Services, New York City’s faith community will be able to provide shelter to asylum seekers in need at houses of worship throughout the five boroughs.”
The city currently spends an average of $380 a day per migrant, for a total of $1.2 billion per year, for housing and other services. The costs are expected to more than double to $2.9 billion by next year. Monrose said using the places of worship would be “much more cost-effective” than the current strategy.
It is unclear how long the houses of worship will be used to shelter foreign nationals, as each location has a different contract with the city.
“We have the mission, we have the motivation, and we have the facilities to help,” Elim International Fellowship Archbishop Eugene Blount remarked in a statement to FOX5. Blount went on to explain, “The ministry building was originally a convent, so it was originally built to house people.”