Elected officials and community leaders rally against Creedmoor shelter expansion

Elected officials and community leaders rally against Creedmoor shelter expansion
QNS File and CM Lee’s office

Mayor Eric Adams plans to add 170 beds to the 1,000-men migrant shelter at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village, and local elected officials and community leaders gathered at the Creedmoor campus Monday to denounce the increase.

Assembly Member Ed Braunstein, state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky and Council Member Linda Lee spearheaded the event to voice their opposition to the expansion of the Creedmoor Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center (HERRC). The electeds were joined by community leaders including CB 13 Chair Bryan Block, Queens Civic Congress President Warren Schreiber and SNAP Queens of Eastern Queens Chairman Corey Bearak.

The attendees echoed the concerns of residents and neighboring institutions who have said that the all-male shelter has led to quality-of-life issues since it first opened in August 2023. The shelter’s proximity to residential areas, schools, and senior centers has exacerbated these concerns, they said.

“Last summer, over community objections, the Adams administration constructed and began operating a one-thousand-person tent shelter for male asylum seekers in Eastern Queens,” Braunstein said. “This site is in the middle of a low-density residential neighborhood and in close proximity to a senior center, public school, and playground.”

Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky. Photo provided by the office of Councilmember Lee

Stavisky agreed with Braunstein, and added that the need to increase the number of beds is unnecessary. “Last summer, there were 68,400 migrants in the City’s care. Last week, that number dropped to 64,800. It is beyond comprehension that while the numbers are decreasing, the City wants to increase the share of migrants by 17% in Eastern Queens.”

Councilmember Linda Lee. Photo provided by the office of Councilmember Lee

Lee, meanwhile, said she was adamantly opposed to the increase and said that the administration has been unresponsive in terms of addressing the community’s concerns about the expansion. “The Administration’s proposed occupancy increase of 170 beds to Creedmoor is absolutely unacceptable,” she asserted. “We worked with DOT, DOE, and the NYPD to create protocols that limit the shelter’s effect on the nearby school, older adult center, and the surrounding neighborhood, but the addition of 170 new residents further strains the measures we have worked to put in place for the community by the HERRC.”

Congressman-elect Tom Suozzi, though absent, issued a statement in support of the community and said that he would help address residents’ concerns when he takes office. “We need to begin working to fix the problems that my constituents are facing,” he said. “Families living near Creedmoor shouldn’t have to stay away from the parks that they’ve paid for with their hard-earned tax dollars.”

The announcement of the expansion comes at a time when the Mayor has decided not to cut the city budget. However, he has reduced spending on asylum seekers, raising concerns about the allocation of resources in addressing the migrant crisis.

As the community awaits further developments, local leaders say they remain steadfast in their commitment to ensuring residents’ quality-of-life issues are addressed and making sure that City resources are allocated equitably.