Sunset Park rec center to house 100 asylum seekers as migrant crisis reaches new heights

Sunset Park Recreation Center is closed to the public until further notice
Sunset Park Recreation Center is closed to the public until further notice
Google Street View

At least 100 asylum-seekers will be temporarily housed at the Sunset Park Recreation Center, the second such Brooklyn location chosen by the city this week.

The mayor’s office notified the offices of local officials Wednesday evening that migrants would be settled into the rec center at the neighborhood’s namesake park, shutting the center to the public until further notice.

Greenpoint’s McCarren Park Play Center is to house around 80 migrants as soon as this weekend, city officials announced Thursday.

In both instances, City Hall has not made it immediately clear how long the rec centers will be used as a shelter, or if they have adequate bathroom and kitchen facilities for the number of temporary residents.

“As we have emphasized repeatedly, with nearly 100,000 asylum seekers that have come through our intake system since spring 2022 and hundreds more continuing to arrive in our city asking for shelter on a daily basis, New York City has been left alone to deal with a national crisis that demands difficult and swift decision-making,” a spokesperson for City Hall said.

The spox added that the city is “constantly searching for new places to give asylum seekers a place to rest their heads,” a struggle which has not gone unnoticed of late with men forced to sleep on the sidewalk outside the intake center at the Roosevelt Hotel earlier this week. They have since been relocated to a church in Queens.

In a statement, Council Member Aleza Avilés described the last-minute notification of the asylum-seekers arrival in Sunset Park as “the end of a long process of policy failures.” Avilés accused Mayor Eric Adams of leaving the local community woefully uninformed.

“While there is frustration among community members with the lack of engagement, bearing a disproportionate weight in this crisis and being given NO additional resources to our community organizations to help, our community is stepping up with compassion as we have always done,” said Avilés, calling on state and federal officials to provide additional resources.

“As an immigrant community who welcomes new neighbors everyday, we know first hand the challenges people are facing. What is happening right now though is entirely a one-sided extractive proposition. We need additional resources and our city, state, and federal governments needs a real plan with dedicated resources,” she added.