Floyd Bennett Field migrant shelter welcomes its first 500, as leaders cite safety concerns

The new makeshift shelter at Floyd Bennett field is getting ready to house 2,000 migrants in the coming days.

"I do not see the ending if the federal government does not take action," Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday. 

The Biden administration gave New York the green light to house over 2,500 migrants and asylum seekers at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn back in August.

Lawmakers and local leaders have been voicing concerns over the safety of the site ever since.

Now--Mayor Adams says he's moving forward with the plan regardless, but is continuing to renew his calls for federal support.

The area: Once an airport, then a naval base, then a park made up of 6 million cubic yards of sand from Jamaica Bay, is now an up and running migrant shelter.

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UNITED STATES -October 30: Tour of the newly erected Migrant Housing location at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn on Monday October 30, 2023. 1057.   (Photo by Theodore Parisienne for NY Daily News via Getty Images)

City officials toured the facility Monday, ahead of move-in day for the first 500 migrants.

State Assemblywoman Jamie Williams joined Good Day to explain the uneasiness surrounding the plan. 

Williams said she questions the site's desolate location, potential for flooding and unusual living quarters.

"You're putting these women and children…in some type of a danger," Williams said about the bathrooms being outside.

Williams also reiterated the need for federal assistance.

Inside Floyd Bennett Field migrant shelter

Floyd Bennett Field was New York City's first municipal airport.  It later turned into a naval base and then a  park. It's named after Floyd Bennett, a Brooklyn resident and famous aviator.

Fox 5 NY's Morgan McKay toured the remote facility on Monday. 

"We built sites now in parks, parking lots, and now literally an airport runway. We're having to create this space we don't have any other space we can access in New York City," explained Dr. Ted Long with NYC Health + Hospitals. 

"Every time we open up one of these sites there is a dozen things that we have to address and mitigate… " NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol explained.  

Similar to other migrant shelters, there is a tent for registration where migrants can get ID badges, vaccines, school enrollment for children, and connect with a caseworker to start paperwork.

There are a few things that are different for this makeshift shelter.

There is a cafeteria tent for food, and the bathrooms and showers are set up outside. 

There is one bathroom for every 15 people that will live there. 

According to Dr. Long, there will also be a Health + Hospitals ambulance that will be outside for any medical emergencies. 

The migrants will live in ‘housing pods’ for families of up to six people. 

There are 128 pods for 500 people. Children three months old and up can live in the pods.

A total of 2,000 migrants will live on the site. 

The pods include cots, and some of them even have a pack n' play for young children.

The city insists that the tents are safe and that there will be shuttles running every 90 minutes from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.