Residents of Clinton Hill are calling on the city to help migrants

On a typical afternoon at the migrant shelter on Hall Street in Brooklyn, locals describe seeing migrants eating their own food and selling produce.

And some believe it’s a sign the city doesn’t have enough to help the 3,000 migrant men housed in the emergency shelter.

“The neighbors in Clinton Hill were overwhelmed. This is too much for us,” said Renee Collymore, a local resident. “Why are they making sandwiches and food on the street? This is inhumane.”

What you need to know

  • Residents of Clinton Hill say about 4,000 migrants with few resources have been placed in the local community
  • Residents say some migrants stand outside most of the day with nothing to do
  • Residents and local councilor Crystal Hudson have sent letters to the mayor’s office asking for additional resources to help migrants

Collymore is just one of many residents who have reached their breaking point amid what critics say is a lack of government assistance for the area’s migrants.

They accuse Mayor Eric Adams and his administration of dumping single men and migrant families into Clinton Hill with little help.

Residents say they are the ones who have been picking up the slack by organizing donation drives, providing weekly food and helping with translation services.

‘They’re sitting there eating. You treat them like nothing,” Mary Chang said. “Fix this. Fix this. This is wrong. This is not a humanitarian effort. A new paradigm is needed.”

In early May, hundreds of local residents gathered for a meeting. The neighborhood then proposed a series of solutions to the problem, including reducing the size of the shelter to 400 migrants.

“The problem is not the asylum seekers. The problem is the size of this shelter. Right now, the city has 3,200 single men crammed into beds back to back. There is no gathering space. They don’t have lockers,” Alia McKee said.

The mayor is not the only one who residents accuse of doing too little. They also say local councilor Crystal Hudson has not been helpful.

“She keeps telling the news that everything is fine, but it’s not,” said Daniel Tracy, a Clinton Hill resident.

In a statement to Spectrum News NY1, Alejandro Gonzalez, a spokesperson for Hudson, called the accusations of inaction “unfair.”

Hudson has called on the mayor to do more. She sent a letter on May 6 calling on the mayor to hold a town hall in 30 days or less.

“My concern is not necessarily reducing capacity, but increasing the services and resources provided to these communities so that they can more easily integrate into our society,” Hudson said.

Hudson said she wants the mayor to provide additional funding for sanitation, job training and mental health services in the area.

NY1 has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment and has not heard back.

Hudson and community members say they have also received no response from the mayor’s office.