Migrants use charity cash to flee NYC when they can’t get into shelter

The city’s shelter system is too dysfunctional for these migrants!

Four asylum-seekers who braved trekking to the US-Mexico border — and across it — got so fed up waiting for beds in New York City that they used charity money to get out and head to Washington, DC, The Post has learned.

The unidentified men arrived in the Big Apple within the past three weeks and went to the city-run Bellevue Men’s Shelter, which also serves as an intake center for the Department of Homeless Services, sources said.

“They were either turned away or confused by the situation because there were a lot of people waiting for intake that day,” a source said.

The men — who don’t speak English — returned to the shelter “a few times” during about two and a half days in the city, but “ultimately they decided to go to Washington,” the source said.

They’d spent a night in the nation’s capital while traveling to New York and they used $50 gift cards they received from Catholic Charities to pay for their bus fares back there, the source said.

The Post exclusively reported this week that City Hall was scrambling to open a dedicated intake center for migrants with enough room to house 600 families in Midtown by Monday.

Migrants at Bellevue Homeless Shelter waiting to be relocated to a new shelter in Brooklyn on August 11, 2022.
Matthew McDermott

The move came after Mayor Eric Adams last month revealed that the city’s shelter system was overloaded by migrants, some of whom told The Post they were directed to the city by Biden administration immigration officials in Texas.

Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also started sending busloads of migrants to the city to protest what he calls President Biden’s “irresponsible open border policies.”

Since Friday, at least 160 migrants have arrived on five buses chartered by Abbott, with 92 dropped off outside the Port Authority depot over the course of about 45 minutes Wednesday morning.

Four migrants grew so frustrated by the overcrowded shelter that they left New York to go to Washington, DC.
Four migrants grew so frustrated by the overcrowded shelter that they left New York to go to Washington, DC.
Matthew McDermott
At least 160 migrants have arrived in New York City from Texas on buses chartered by Gov. Greg Abbott since Friday.
At least 160 migrants have arrived in New York City from Texas on buses chartered by Gov. Greg Abbott since Friday.
Matthew McDermott

On Sunday, Adams alleged that Abbott had sent some migrants to New York unwillingly.

“Some of the families are on the bus that wanted to go to other locations, and they were not allowed to do so,” he said.

“They were forced on the bus.”

Abbott’s office has said all the migrants voluntarily sign waivers before being put on the buses, and The Post on Thursday was prevented from interviewing migrants at the Bellevue Men’s Shelter in Manhattan about Adams’ accusation.

Three uniformed city Department of Homeless Services officers ordered a reporter off the sidewalk in what appeared to be a blatantly illegal act.

“If you need to talk to our clients, call 43 Beaver St., 17th floor!” one officer said.

At that point, two migrants from Venezuela who arrived on an Abbott-chartered bus Wednesday — and agreed to be interviewed — got scared and retreated inside the shelter.

The 17 migrants preparing to leave Bellevue Men’s Shelter on a bus.
The 17 migrants preparing to leave Bellevue Men’s Shelter on a bus.
Matthew McDermott

A short time later, 17 migrants came out and got on a yellow school bus that was apparently headed for a homeless assessment center in Brooklyn.

The men were all carrying identical, brand-new black backpacks and wearing clothing that also appeared new.

One, Daniel Reyes, said he was from Honduras and had been at the shelter for around a month after arriving in the US about a year ago.

Reyes said eight others — one from Colombia, one from Guatemala and six from Venezuela — showed up at the shelter three days earlier, apparently after being transported on an Abbott bus.

Daniel Reyes fled Honduras a year ago due to gangs and had been staying at Bellevue for a month.
Daniel Reyes fled Honduras a year ago due to gangs and had been staying at Bellevue for a month.
Matthew McDermott
Reyes said eight migrants from Texas arrived at the shelter just three days earlier.
Reyes said eight migrants from Texas arrived at the shelter just three days earlier.
Matthew McDermott

“The gangs — no good. They come to the United States,” he said in broken English.

Some shelter residents griped that the migrants were being treated better than homeless Americans.

“We’ve all been here waiting, going through this process, and let me tell you: they getting everything real quick,” said Ronald Francois, 55, a Navy veteran from Queens.

“They got more in four or five days than I got in 29! They’re brushing us aside.”

Shelter resident Ronald Francois complained that the newly arrived migrants are being treated better than American homeless people.
Shelter resident Ronald Francois complained that the newly arrived migrants are being treated better than American homeless people.
Matthew McDermott

The Department of Homeless Services didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Also Thursday, two other Abbott-chartered buses left Del Rio, Texas, en route to Washington, DC.

It was unclear if the bus would continue on to New York City, as others have.

A migrant who identified himself as Javier, 25, from Venezuela told The Post he was boarding the first bus in hopes of making his way to the Big Apple, where he said a friend was living.

“I’m a lot closer to New York in Washington than I am here,” he said.

“I heard there is a shelter where you can stay for some time until you’re able to get on your feet financially.”

Javier said he was penniless after getting robbed and having to pay bribes to officials during his trek to the US, and he called the free bus ride “a blessing because I don’t have money to keep going.”

“Any help that I can get is a godsend,” he added.

Other migrants interviewed by The Post in San Antonio, Texas, said they were also hoping to get to New York City.

“The only thing I want right now is to be able to stay in a shelter where I can stay for at least a week, so I can work, and earn a little money to find a place to live for my family,” said Cesar Sandoval Guerrero, 26.

Guerrero said he, his wife and their kids, ages 3 and 4, left Venezuela on June 19 because he couldn’t afford to live on his wages as a National Guard member and was told to extort bribes from his neighbors to make ends meet.

“I will work anywhere,” he said.

“I just need somewhere safe where I can leave my wife and kids so I can work during the day and she can work at night so we can save up.”

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