NYC Taxpayers Bewildered by Hefty $325 Million Private Security Price Tag in Migrant Shelters

NYC Taxpayers Bewildered by Hefty $325 Million Private Security Price Tag in Migrant Shelters

Allocating nearly $325 million, New York City plans to ensure 24/7 security at multiple shelter sites accommodating 22,000 migrants citywide. This decision has raised concerns among taxpayers, questioning the prioritization of spending.

According to a report by Gothamist, NYC Health + Hospitals has taken charge of managing new migrant intakes at Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRCs) and approved a significant increase in private security funding for these locations in October.

The escalating cost of migrant care in NYC, currently at $394 per day per migrant, is straining the city’s budget and prompting inquiries into the sustainability of this financial approach.

Since spring 2022, around 140,000 migrants have arrived in the city, with thousands still under its care. While H+H, the primary care provider, operates with a mix of revenue sources, the HERRCs are directly funded by the city under an emergency order signed in October.

As of now, H+H has greenlit $163 million for three private security contracts out of the total $324.7 million allocation. During an October presentation, Chris Keeley, the chief operating officer in the ambulatory care division, emphasized the goal of providing 24/7 security at these locations to ensure the safety of guests, clients, and staff.

Keeley clarified that all expenses under these contracts would be reimbursed to Health + Hospitals through a memorandum of understanding with the mayor’s office. This means that taxpayers are directly financing the security teams operating at 17 sites currently housing approximately 22,000 migrants across NYC.

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