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The park and streets smell of feces: migrants turned one of the New York areas into a giant toilet


Alina Prikhodko

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Migrants outside a refugee reception center in the East Village turned out to be terrible neighbors. New York Post told how one of the New York areas turned into a giant toilet. Migrants litter the park with feces and leave cups of urine near houses.

Since November, thousands of adult migrants have been waiting outside the former St. Brigid's School on East 7th Street and Tompkins Square Park to be placed in the city's shelter system after the 30- and 60-day stay period has expired.

Things went wrong when the city's Parks Department removed three portable toilets from the park. According to local residents, the toilets became so dirty that workers refused to service them.

“There was a cup that I thought was someone's discarded hot chocolate, but it turned out not to be hot chocolate,” says street cleaner John Cashwan.

Residents are shocked

Over the past week, local residents and volunteers say they have noticed cups filled with urine at the entrance to the park near the former school, as well as poop in flowerbeds and between parked cars.

“Most of them want to pee in plastic cups instead of on the ground, and they leave them on other people's steps,” said resident Garrett Rosso, 64, who spotted a dozen cups filled with urine.

The southeastern part of the park is also littered with food scraps and plastic containers. “I've excluded this part of the park from my daily walks because of the mud,” said resident Michael Bartley, 73. “If they’re going to bring them here, the city should bring the sanitation people here.”

On the subject: New York imposes curfew on migrants in shelters to prevent them from begging at night

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, a former Lower East Side resident, denounced Mayor Adams for welcoming migrants with open arms while his administration dumped them into neighborhoods without providing any clear aid or plans to deal with the sudden influx of hundreds - or even thousands of people. “He is a swaggering man with no plan. All he does is react on his knees without any follow-up,” Sliwa said.

Toilets are a problem

Susan Stetzer, director of Community District 3, said parks workers removed Tompkins' restrooms last week because they were trashed "to the point where they could not be maintained." Portable toilets were installed at Tompkins last year to make life easier while the park undergoes renovations.

“Toilets are a problem. We have tried to contact the administration about this, but we have not been able to do so at this time,” she said, adding that migrants continuing to flock outside in low temperatures constituted a “humanitarian crisis.”

The migrants, mostly from West Africa and South America, are among more than 100 people under city authorities' care since spring 000. They said staff at the migrant reception center did not allow them to use toilets in the building.

A Park Service spokesman said composting toilets are difficult to maintain and clean. However, a public restroom operated by the agency is located at the McKinley Playground about 7 minutes away.

A City Hall spokesman said they were aware of complaints about a lack of showers and toilets, but said many migrants were choosing to queue when they didn't have to. Many sleep on the streets and wait in line, despite the availability of places in short-stay centers.

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