Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy
The city is once again putting the former St. Brigid School to use to aid asylum seekers.
Sources confirmed to us that the city's Office of Emergency Management has repurposed the school, which the Archdiocese of New York closed in the spring of 2019, for "reticketing" services ... which help provide transportation to asylum seekers who are bussed to NYC, but whose final destination is elsewhere. (We're told that other administrative services may also be offered here under the auspices of the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers.)
The posted hours of operation here are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Signs at the site note the following (in five languages), "Attention: this is a reticketing hub! This is not a respite site/shelter. There are no beds at this site. We are here to help you get transportation to any state, or country, of your convenience."
Yesterday, we spotted several asylum seekers at the school. Two people were consulting a computer-printed map to get to Astoria. A city medical staffer told us they could only provide a single emergency meal — today, a tuna fish sandwich was available. Staff members are also not authorized to provide medical aid. (Updated: The City has more on this story here.)
Before this development, the city was again ready to house arriving asylum seekers — adults only — in the building on Seventh Street and Avenue B. In early October, workers filled the facility with cots — set up in classrooms and other open areas throughout the building — for the arriving asylum seekers...
However, according to sources, the school was susceptible to flooding, and with the heavy rains in recent weeks, workers had to make repairs before anyone could stay on-site. The flooding and a sewer issue made the basement and cafeteria unusable here. In the end, there were too many issues to address in order to house people.
As we previously reported, the city used the building for asylum seekers from late May to the end of August. The space was said to accommodate 350 people. The city struggled to meet the basic needs of the new arrivals here. (Our previous post highlighted some of the issues at the school.)
Locals helped organize several clothing-and-supply distributions, and many East Village residents graciously donated a variety of items as well as their time.
According to published reports, more than 120,000 asylum seekers have arrived in NYC in the past year, and about 60,000 are currently in shelters run by the city.
Previously on EV Grieve:
• Missed meal deliveries and a need for basics: the developing situation at the East Village respite center for asylum seekers
• Despite the city's endless bureaucracy, East Village residents continue to aid asylum seekers at the former St. Brigid School