Mayor Eric Adams wasn’t kidding when he said “there’s no room at the inn.”
The influx of migrants into New York has gotten so bad that overfilled transient hotels are telling desperate refugees they should go back to the bus station for further guidance — and the city is scrambling to open more shelters.
“The shelter is at full capacity,” one couple was told Friday at the Stewart Hotel on Seventh Avenue – which is supposed to be one of the city’s four Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers.
The family, who traveled from Ecuador with two young kids, told The Post in Spanish that they were directed by hotel staff “to go to 41st and Eighth, Port Authority.”
Nearby, a sign could be seen with the bus station address.
The situation — in which 36,400 migrants have come through New York since last June — has reached the point that the city has quietly put out a request for bids to open up another mega-shelter, according to records obtained by The Post.
The request was put out on Dec. 28 by the city Economic Development Corporation.
In the request, officials said they are even considering housing the migrants outside the city in other parts of the state.
“There are no geographic restrictions within New York State. All proposals within New York State will be considered,” reads a copy of the document.
The desperation of the Big Apple’s migrant crisis could be easily seen Friday at hotels such as the Stewart.
The doors to the location were locked and employees were only opening them for “guests” with blue lanyards around their necks, the reporter observed.
Two signs were also on the doors: one with the address for Port Authority and the other with the address for shelter for single men and families.
One mother said she’s been coming around for three days trying to get a room at the Stewart.
“I was here till 10:30 last night trying to get a room,” the mom said. “My daughter really needs shelter. She has a fever from sucking up the cold these days.
“I don’t understand, here [at the Stewart] they tell me to go to Port Authority, but I’ve already been and Port Authority sends me right back here and says there’s capacity here. I’ve called the numbers of the other hotels but they all say they’re full, there’s nothing.”
A worker at another mega-shelter hotel — The Wolcott at 4 W. 31st St. — told a couple who was trying to check in that the place was full and they couldn’t stay there, but would help them find another shelter.
The Wolcott website also tried to dissuade visitors.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that the Wolcott Hotel will be closed to transient hotel guests indefinitely,” it said. “With the current Delta variant and uncertainty when travel will return, I feel this is the best course of action for the hotel and her employees for the near future.”
The two other mega-shelters for migrants are located at The Row Hotel, 700 Eighth Ave., and the Watson Hotel at 440 W. 57th St.
At The Row, there was an extremely chaotic scene of kids running around and migrants looking for help. There was a long line of people waiting to be scanned with ID cards while others lingered outside after being rejected.
“Unfortunately there’s no more rooms available, but you can go to Port Authority and on the second floor there are people who can direct you to another hotel,” one staffer said.
At the Watson men’s shelter, there was a waiting list to get in. One man waiting outside was told there were three people ahead of him and he said he would wait his turn.
A notice on the Watson hotel website reads: “The Watson Hotel NY has suspended operations until further notice.”
The dire discovery comes on the heels of Adams’ declaration Tuesday that the influx of over 36,000 migrants – and likely more coming from Colorado – has left “no room at the inn.”
The mayor has requested $1 billion from the federal government, but during a series of media appearances Friday morning, Adams said that figure could increase to $1.5 billion this fiscal year.
A spokesperson for City Hall said Friday that the city has “expanded capacity” at certain mega-shelters and continues to open new emergency shelter hotels to accommodate the influx of migrants.
But President Biden has committed only $8 million to help the Big Apple address the migrant crisis.
Adams said President Biden needs to enact stronger border policies.
“[I]t’s just unfair for places like El Paso, Washington, New York, Chicago, these cities should not be handling a national problem. Our national government must deal with the border issue, and we must receive the resources,” Adams said in a PIX11 interview Friday morning.
On Thursday, Biden unveiled a new border policy that will allow entry to a combined 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela — while ordering deportation of those who illegally entered the US from those countries, but does not address the thousands more coming from other countries.
City officials have not specified the costs to finance the emergency hotel-mega-shelters, but The Post estimated the annual price tag to provide food, shelter and services could exceed $300 million, based on costs of sheltering homeless individuals in hotels during the coronavirus pandemic.
A rep for the NYC hotel industry said operators are willing to pitch in and offer rooms.
“Hotels will participate on a voluntary basis, based on their individual circumstances and what is being proposed,” said NYC Hotel Association spokesperson Lisa Linden.
During a Dec. 19 City Council hearing, a representative from the city’s Health & Hospital system said the four existing mega-shelters were nearing capacity with roughly 5,000 migrants housed combined between the locations.