This is the municipal shelter on Randall Island. From there, you can see the skyscrapers of the Big Apple, and you can see the migrants along the river. Others brought hot drinks and food to sell. While others stand in long lines, hoping to get a night with bed rights. The 30 days Yerson González was given by the city expired, and he had to sleep in the subway.
“It’s terrible, in the subway stations, and sometimes the police take us outside, and we have to enter again through another station, and so on. At the moment, they advise me about the asylum, and well, now I make the appointment, and I have an appointment for next month,” said Yerson González, a Venezuelan migrant.
This is the largest hostel in the city, with a capacity of three thousand people. It is also the most remote.
Police increased surveillance at the shelter, and authorities extended the curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. following violent incidents involving migrants. The lack of work permits has left many waiting, and some earn a living with scissors in hand, shaving and cutting their hair.
“I have brought these tools on the road. On the trip before arriving here in the United States, I practiced barbering in another country. I have brought them with me. Every day of the three that I’ve been there has been more and more because they saw the kind of work I do and came back and recommended me,” commented Sergio Márquez, a migrant barber in Venezuela.
Sergio Márquez is looking to save money to rent a room. This other Colombian barber says he does it for free to connect with the community, and this Haitian man says he does it as a service. In the middle of the cold, those who can’t sleep inside do so in these outdoor tents, breaking the city’s no-camping rule.