New contracts totaling over $560 million will be awarded to a number of companies, including a medical firm currently under investigation, to offer services for migrants in New York City.
The finance committee of the city’s public hospital system (H + H) decided to award new contracts to 13 companies – the majority of which are for-profit businesses – for case management, laundry, and catering services at the 16 Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response Centers (HERRCs) in a unanimous vote on Monday.
Since the crisis began last year, tens of thousands of migrants have been sheltered in hotels and expansive tent-style facilities run by the HERRC.
The discussion around municipal contracts coincides with Adams’s efforts to enact drastic budget cuts, such as a 20% reduction in city expenditures.
The contracts, which H + H’s whole board is set to approve later this month, would pay those businesses up to $565.6 million to supply the services at the HERRCs for a year, beginning on January 1. According to the documentation, “catering services” at the shelters account for an astounding $355 million of that total cost.
One of the businesses authorized to carry out “case management” at the HERRCs is DocGo, a medical provider company that the city has been using for such services since earlier this year. The business was the subject of an inquiry by the office of State Attorney General Letitia James in August due to claims that it had mistreated and deceived migrants as part of a city-subsidized scheme to move them to other regions of New York and the United States.
DocGo is one of five businesses that will get $176.8 million for case management services.
Hizzoner gave his administration the order last month to reduce city expenditure on migrant assistance by 20% for this fiscal year, or around $940 million, citing the financial burden of the migration issue.
For months, Adams has argued that his administration needs additional financial assistance from the federal and state governments as the city continues to shelter and serve over 65,000 largely Latin American migrants. This Thursday, Adams will return to Washington, DC to address the problem. Last month, he had suddenly called off his meeting with White House officials on the same day that the FBI raided the Brooklyn home of his campaign fundraiser.