Adama Bah, founder of Afrikana, opens her doors to migrants who need help navigating the immigration and shelter systems. Marco Postigo Storel
Migrants from Mauritania and Senegal were the most likely to receive eviction notices, but not the most populous groups in shelters, a New York Focus analysis found.
By Churchill Ndonwie

Sokhona Khassa had heard that New York City would take him in. A migrant from Mauritania, Khassa, 29, had traversed Central America to arrive at the southern border of the United States, where fellow migrants told him he would fare better in New York. When he got there, he was disappointed.

“The staff treated us badly,” said Khassa, in French, of his time in a city shelter. “When they pass us, they cover their nose. It’s like you’re dirty or something.”

In July 2023, the same month Khassa arrived in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams capped migrants’ shelter stays at 60 days. Khassa got his first notice in August. In September, Adams reduced the shelter limit to 30 days for single adults.

In a first-of-its-kind analysis, New York Focus found that notices to vacate shelters have been disproportionately served to migrants from Mauritania and Senegal. Out of 14,000 notices, migrants from the two African countries received 44 and 32 percent, respectively — the highest and second-highest share. In population data provided to New York Focus, the countries accounted for fewer migrants in city shelters than Venezuela, Ecuador, or Colombia. (The city provided data over a year ending in October 2023, but it was not broken down monthly.)

Have you or somebody you know applied to a Conviction Integrity or Conviction Review Unit in New York to fight a wrongful conviction?

New York Focus and Columbia Journalism Investigations are taking a look at how these units work—and we’d like to hear from you.

Kathy Hochul speaks after signing a package of bills to combat the opioid crisis in October 2021. Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Hochul's budget would level off funding for addiction treatment — and use opioid settlement funds to fill the gaps.
By Spencer Norris

After the worst year on record for overdose deaths in New York, Governor Kathy Hochul wants to level off investment in addiction treatment.

Under Hochul’s proposed financial plan, the total budget for the agency that orchestrates the state’s addiction treatment strategy would increase by 0.8 percent next year, then decline by 6.6 percent, or $66.3 million, by 2028.

This budgeting approach would offset addiction treatment costs with a controversial tactic: tapping into the state’s opioid settlement funds, the money recovered in court from opioid crisis profiteers.

Over the next few months, New York Focus reporters will be digging into the budget process, analyzing the state’s spending priorities and explaining what that will mean for New Yorkers across the state.

What do you want to know about the budget? Submit your budget related questions to New York Focus reporters.


Copyright © New York Focus 2023, All rights reserved.
Staying Focused is compiled and written by Alex Arriaga
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