Legal Aid Society

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LAS: City Fails to Place Homeless Families With Minor Children

The Legal Aid Society is condemning the City of New York for its failure to provide appropriate shelter placement for families with minor children, as reported by NBC 4 New York.

The City violated local law by denying multiple families, including asylum seekers, immediate placement at local shelters this past Sunday, forcing these families to sleep overnight in a waiting room at the New York City Department of Homeless Services’ Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) intake center in the Bronx.

In the last ten years, the City has violated this law only one other time, and when it did, the previous administration notified Legal Aid and the Coalition for the Homeless immediately – in stark contrast to the current administration’s efforts to hide the needless trauma being inflicted on these vulnerable families. To cover up for this gross malfeasance, Mayor Adams made a press announcement blaming asylum seekers for adding to the City’s burgeoning shelter census in a cynical attempt to control messaging and continues to pursue this misleading narrative.

“The Mayor isn’t speaking the whole truth,” reads a statement from Legal Aid. “We spoke with eight families with children this morning who slept on the floor last night at the City’s shelter intake center in the Bronx, in addition to the four families the Mayor acknowledged who had slept there Sunday night. This humanitarian crisis shows no sign of abating soon.”

“The City must meet its legal and moral obligation to ensure that every family who comes through PATH before or after 10:00 p.m. is provided with an appropriate shelter placement and can sleep in a bed at night, and is treated with dignity and humanity,” Legal Aid writes. “Should the administration continue to ignore their legal responsibilities and put these families at risk, we’ll see them in court.”