NYC spends $35 million on two migrant hotels

New York City has donated over $35 million to two nonprofits to house migrants in hotels in Manhattan and Queens — part of the $5.2 billion raised so far to help deal with the growing crisis, according to The Post has experienced.

The city’s Department of Homelessness awarded $26.4 million to the Volunteers of America to help migrants at Midtown’s Paul Hotel and another $9.48 million to Lutheran Social Services of Metropolitan New York, which supports migrants at a Fairfield Inn in Long Island City.

Both sites are designated in the city record as a “city shelter for families with children” and are among the 200 city shelters currently housing nearly 60,000 migrants.

Mayor Eric Adams has claimed that the cost of housing and providing other services to asylum seekers – which has so far been $5.2 billion – could blow $12 billion within three years. He has repeatedly asked President Biden for help, including financial assistance and expedited work permits for migrants, but to no avail.

Families gathered outside the Paul Hotel on West 29th Street on Monday – some even traveled as far as Russia and Venezuela.

Fairfield Inn in Long Island City
Migrants are housed at a Fairfield Inn in Long Island City.
Kevin C Downs for NY Post

A National Guardsman patrolling the site removed some children’s bicycles from the sidewalk, which also had toys lying on it.

“We came here to avoid being mobilized for war,” said Leila Usmanov, who fled Russia with her husband Ruslan Usmanov and their three children, aged 16, 10 and 3. “We didn’t want to fight our own.” “Ukrainians and Russians are the same people.” Leila said the family was “grateful to the US government,” but complained that the food the city provided at the fancy hotel, which has been converted into housing, was not exactly nutritious.

“My husband and I have high blood sugar and the food is not very good for us. Our kids don’t want to eat it,” she said.

Ruslan added: “Come here in the evening and you will see a huge pile of wasted food being thrown away. Ninety percent of the food here is not eaten.”

Jony Martinez, 42,
Jony Martines, 42, is a Mexican immigrant awaiting his work permit to support his family.
Kevin C Downs for NY Post

Jony Martines, who walked to the US-Mexico border before heading to the Big Apple, was excited to be able to work legally.

“We’ve been here for three months, but it’s only temporary until I get a work permit and find work. I just want to start working and build a life for myself but I haven’t been able to find a job or even get a work permit yet,” said Martines, 42, who was accompanied by his wife and two children, ages 2 and 8 .

But he said of the shelter, “It’s a big help.” It’s clean, it’s safe. Help with child care. You are very observant. We get a lot of attention here.”

Daniel Garcia, 28, who also walked from Venezuela with his wife and child, said he works as a telecommunications engineer in his home country.

But he said his father, a police officer, got into trouble with the government and had to leave.

The journey took five months, including being stuck at the border and waiting to be cleared.

“I crossed the border legally and am really grateful for the opportunity to come and stay here. They’ve been very good to us,” Garcia said.

“Everything is really good in this hotel. The place is clean, there are resources for the kids. The only problem is that we don’t have a kitchen and to be honest the food for the kids isn’t that good. We would rather cook our own food.”

Garcia, too, was looking forward to getting a work permit.

Mohammed Maouzhi
National Guard specialist Mohamed Maouchi is tasked with patrolling the hotel and making sure there are no problems.
Kevin C Downs for NY Post

“I’m trying to get a work permit as soon as possible so I can find a job,” he said. “This accommodation is nice, but only temporary. I just want to work and build a new life for my family. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to do that here.”

National Guard specialist Mohamed Maouchi, who is tasked with patrolling the hotel and keeping the peace, insisted the Paul Hotel frequented by migrants was tidy and safe.

On Sunday, the Post reported that at least 41 migrants were arrested at the Roosevelt Hotel on East 45th Street on charges including domestic violence.

“We make sure that everything runs smoothly. We ensure that women are protected from domestic violence. We’ll provide the food,” Maouchi said. “There weren’t really any problems. Everything is peaceful.”

He defended the meals, saying the migrants were well fed.

“We give them really good food here. Vegetables, nutritious stuff,” he said.

Paul Hotel
The city’s Department of Homelessness provided $26.4 million to Volunteers of America to support migrants at several hotels.
Kevin C Downs for NY Post

Meanwhile, a Fairfield Inn worker said the hotel only reopened to paying guests a week ago but is still half-filled with migrants.

Fairfield general manager Louis Gonzales told The Post that the 40th Road hotel has been hosting migrants without major problems since January, having previously served as temporary accommodation for ex-convicts.

“We had housed people here through Exodus Transitional Housing, ex-convicts who had a contract with the city, but we let them phase out. It was a lot worse. Trash, smoking, noise,” Gonzales said.

In comparison, migrant families have not caused any problems for the staff, he said. He said the premises had been kept clean and that neighbors had not expressed the opposition that was burgeoning elsewhere.

“When we first started taking in migrants, we spoke to members of the community, had conversations and everyone was on board. We had many families here. They were all fine. No problems. The premises are kept clean. No complaints from the community,” Gonzales said.

“Now I’ve heard the stories from other places. Noise, garbage, things that are left out. I know there have been problems in other places, but that was not the case here.”


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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