Migrants waiting for shelter beds are using this NYC park as their bathroom


Migrants outside an East Village intake center have been crappy neighbors.

Since November, thousands of adult migrants have waited outside the former St. Brigid’s School on East 7th Street, and overflow into Tompkins Square Park, to score a bed in the city’s shelter system after their 30-day and 60-day stay limits expired.

But s–t hit the fan – and the sidewalks and streets – last week when the city Parks Department yanked a trio of Port-a-potties from the park.

The loos had become so filthy that workers gave up on maintaining them, according to locals.

“There was a cup of what I thought was somebody’s discarded hot chocolate that turned out to be not hot chocolate,” said street cleaner John Cashvan.

“On warmer days, it can smell like a toilet over here — and not a well kept-toilet.” 

In the past week, locals and volunteers said they’ve spotted cups filled with urine around the park’s entrance near the former school, along with human-sized poop in tree beds and between parked cars.

One migrant waiting for a shelter bed said he and others have been blocked from using the bathrooms at an East Village intake center. Helayne Seidman
A street cleaner said he found a cup filled with human poop near where migrants have been congregating in the park. Helayne Seidman

“Most of them want to pee in plastic cups rather than the ground, and they leave them on people’s door steps,” said longtime resident Garrett Rosso, 64, who said he spotted a dozen cups filled with urine. 

One migrant had no problem taking an al fresco whiz on a tree Wednesday afternoon as The Post surveyed the stomach-churning scene.

The southeastern part of the park was also littered with spilled food and plastic containers.

“I’ve cut this part of the park out of my [daily] walk because of the filth,” said neighbor Michael Bartley, 73. “There’s several thousand people [coming to] this end of the park with no place to use the bathroom.”

Locals said the port-a-potties were removed last week because they had become too difficult to clean and maintian. Stefano Giovannini

“If they’re going to bring them here, [the city should] have some Sanitation people here,” he added. “Cops are here? Big f–king deal.”

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, a former Lower East Side resident, ripped Mayor Adams for welcoming migrants with open arms, only for his administration to funnel them into neighborhoods without providing any clear aid or plans for handling the sudden influx of hundreds — or even thousands — of people.

“He’s the swagger man with no plan. Everything he does, it its a knee jerk reaction with no follow up,” Sliwa said.

Since the port-a-potties were removed, locals said they’ve found cups filled with urine dotting the area. Stefano Giovannini

“What are you doing in the neighborhood to make it easier for them to absorb [the migrants]?”

Susan Stetzer, district manager for Community Board 3, said Parks workers removed the Tompkins Port-a-potties last week because they were being trashed “to the point they could not be maintained.”

The portable bathrooms were installed in Tompkins last year to provide relief while the park’s field house is undergoing an 18-month renovation.

“The bathrooms are an issue. We’ve tried to engage administration regarding this [but] we have not as of this moment been successful,” she said, adding that migrants continuing to congregate outside in freezing temperature was a “humanitarian crisis.”

The southeast section of Tompkins had become so filthy that Michael Bartley said he cut it out of his daily walks. Helayne Seidman

The migrants, mostly from West Africa and South America and who are among the more than 100,000 who’ve been in the city’s care since spring 2022, said they’ve been blocked by intake center staff from using the building’s restrooms.

“When you want to go to the toilet [at the re-intake center], sometimes people tell you no,” said one man who gave his name as Abu Salim. “You have to go out here.” 

A Parks spokesperson said port-a-potties are difficult to maintain and clean, but that a public restroom operated by the agency was available at McKinley Playground roughly 7 minutes away.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said they were aware about complaints regarding a lack of showers and bathrooms, but added that many migrants are choosing to line up when they do not have to. Many are sleeping outside and standing on line despite space at short-term holding centers.

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