NEW YORK — Scores of migrants were forced out Monday from an emergency shelter in Manhattan that was deemed unsafe by the FDNY, leaving them to return to the asylum seeker arrival center for a new place and fearful they could end up sleeping on the streets.
Evictions were ordered at the shelter operating out of an old Touro College building on W. 31st St. near Eighth Ave. after the FDNY found the facility lacks a functioning fire safety system following an inspection, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The site has for months been housing hundreds of adult migrants. Some of them started being moved out last week following the FDNY inspection.
On Monday, the Daily News observed dozens more being removed, and one of the sources briefed on the Adams administration’s decision said the building was expected to be completely emptied by day’s end.
Speaking outside the shelter, many of the migrants told The News they were instructed to return to the Roosevelt Hotel asylum seeker arrival center in Midtown to reapply for shelter if they still needed it.
Sega Saleman, a 33-year-old migrant from Mauretania who has been staying at the Touro site for a month, worried he would not be able to get a new bed by applying at the Roosevelt, where hundreds of new arrivals arrive every week to seek shelter.
“If we can’t find anywhere, we will sleep on the street,” Saleman said, speaking in Arabic.
Mohamed Baba, a 26-year-old also from Mauretania, agreed with Saleman.
“I don’t have a place to go who will definitely take me,” Baba said in French. “I don’t want to sleep on the street but if it happens I’m going to have to put up with it.”
Spokespeople for Mayor Adams’ office and the FDNY did not immediately return requests for comment.
The Touro site is among a number of makeshift migrant shelter sites operated by Adams’ administration that FDNY recently slapped with orders to vacate due to fire safety violations. The FDNY inspections come as the city continues to house more than 64,000 migrants, according to data from Adams’ office.
The site was also the location visited by Adams’ senior advisor, Tim Pearson, who spokespeople say had visited the site to determine if the building was properly abiding by city fire codes. Pearson was involved in an altercation with one of the security officers, according to police.
Daily News staff writer Rocco Parascandola contributed to this story.