Posted on March 13, 2024

Offered Tickets to Depart NYC When Forced to Leave Shelters, Only 2% of Adult Migrants Accept

Karen Yi, Gothamist, March 11, 2024

Fewer than 30 adult migrants per day are typically accepting a city-offered bus or plane ticket out of New York City, and hundreds more are ending up with no shelter bed to sleep in for the night, newly released data shows.

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has said its rule restricting shelter stays for adult migrants to 30 days is alleviating a strained shelter system, making room for newer arrivals and helping slash projected migrant spending.

But data obtained by Gothamist through a Freedom of Information Law request shows that on average, just 2% of adult migrants maxing out their shelter limits each day are leaving the city. {snip}

Adams’ policies are under growing scrutiny by city councilmembers who recently called his shelter limit notices “inhumane” and are seeking to ban any restrictions on homeless shelter stays.


City officials said they’ve spent $7.6 million to “reticket” about 28,500 migrants, or buy them bus or plane tickets to other cities or states. But it’s unclear how much of that was spent on adult migrants at St. Brigid, where data shows more than 2,200 have accepted rides elsewhere since Dec. 17.


The top reticketing destinations include other parts of New York as well as Illinois, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, according to Mamelak. The city’s policy of sending homeless New Yorkers to other states predates the Adams administration, originating in 2009, when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid for one-way tickets for homeless people to head south or to the Caribbean.