Second Migrant Dies by Suicide in NYC Shelter System, Sources Say

A young man from Venezuela died by suicide last week, sources say, following the similar death of a young woman last September

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A second migrant has died by suicide in New York City's shelter system, law enforcement sources and sources in the city's aid community said Monday.

The 26-year-old man died in a Queens shelter Wednesday of last week, the sources said. Aid sources familiar with the family's situation indicated the young man was here with a child and the child's mother.

Police records indicate the man was found by in the bathroom by his partner; he was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead there. He was believed by others in the shelter to be from Venezuela, though his full personal circumstances were not immediately clear.

Last week's incident follows the mid-September death of another asylum seeker, a young woman with two children who took her own life at another Queens shelter.

The latest death comes amid the city's ongoing shelter crisis. As of last Thursday, nearly 65,000 people were in the city's shelters, 42% more than the same time a year ago.

The city attributes the increase to an influx of migrants from border states sent here by those states' governors; homeless advocates say the situation is more complex and includes the impact of rising evictions and strained social services.

Mayor Eric Adams has warned that the situation could get substantially worse this week, as an expiring federal policy means substantially more migrants may end up crossing the border - and ultimately getting bussed here.

The news also comes as the City Council opened a two-day hearing on the city government's response to the crisis. As opposed to the September death, the city did not make any announcement of this latest case.

In a statement, the city's Department of Social Services called the incident "an absolutely heart-breaking tragedy" and said it was working with the family.

"These families are coming to New York City after a months-long harrowing journey, in some cases, still reeling from the trauma they experienced along the way. We recognize the very unique challenges asylum seekers are facing and we remain committed to continuing to build on our ongoing efforts and interagency coordination to connect these families and individuals to mental health supports as we help them stabilize their lives in a new country," the statement read.

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