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City officials to reopen Roosevelt Hotel as migrant housing, resource center

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City officials have revealed a plan to reopen the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan as a migrant housing and resource center, Mayor Adams said Saturday.

In the coming days, the hotel will open up 175 rooms for children and families, the city’s announcement said. Ultimately, the city plans to open a total of 850 rooms in the hotel for children and families.

Another 150 rooms will be set aside for migrants who are stopping in New York on their way to other locations, the city said. The hotel had about 1,000 rooms when it closed nearly three years ago. Also, the hotel will serve “as a centralized intake center for all arriving asylum seekers and providing migrants with access to a range of legal, medical, and reconnection services, as well as placement, if needed, in a shelter or humanitarian relief center,” the announcement said.

Newly-arrived immigrants will be directed to the hotel, where the city plans to offer school enrollment services and enrollment in the Fair Fares bus and subway discount program and health insurance.

The center — expected to be open 24/7 — will also offer mental health counseling, transportation reticketing, and various services offered by community-based organizations.

The 99-year-old hotel building, on E. 45th St. at Madison Ave. steps from Grand Central Terminal, shut its doors to guests in October 2020, battered by the pandemic. The city has cared for more than 65,000 asylum seekers, and has opened more than 140 emergency shelters and eight large-scale humanitarian relief centers, Adams said in the statement.

But the mayor pleaded for more state or federal aid to deal with the influx. “Without federal or state assistance, we will be unable to continue treating new arrivals and those already here with the dignity and care that they deserve,” Adams said.

Most of the incoming migrants are from Central America. Their numbers have grown in recent weeks with the expiration of border restrictions that had been imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When the Roosevelt Hotel closed in October 2020, it was owned by Pakistan International Airlines, which in turn is majority controlled by the Pakistani government.

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