Dozens of homeless veterans facing difficulties have been booted from upstate hotels to accommodate newly arrived migrants, according to a non-profit organization assisting the veterans.
The upstate New York hotels informed the former military personnel earlier this week that their temporary housing arrangements were being terminated, forcing them to find alternative accommodations.
Among them is a 24-year-old individual who served in Afghanistan and is currently in dire need of assistance. This development has been strongly condemned by the local community and local political representatives.
Sharon Toney-Finch, a disabled military veteran, created the Yerik Israel Toney Foundation to raise awareness of premature births, as well as helping the homeless and low-income military service veterans in need of living assistance. The Post report:
“One of the vets called me on Sunday,’’ Toney-Finch said. “He told me he had to leave because the hotel said the extended stay is not available. Then I got another call. We didn’t waste any time.”
“That’s when we started on Monday to organize when and where to move them all.
“Last night, I was crying.”
Toney-Finch said that 15 of the veterans got the heave-ho from the Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh about 60 miles north of New York City in Orange County — a new epicenter of Big Apple’s migrant crisis since Mayor Eric Adams began bussing Gotham’s overflow there against local officials’ wishes.
The other five displaced veterans were split between two other local facilities — the Super 8 and Hampton Inn & Suites in Middletown, Toney-Finch said.
The Middletown hotels are not believed to have migrants yet but were reportedly on the city’s shortlist to take some.
She said the hotels didn’t explicitly say the vets had to move because of the migrants but that it was clear to her that was the case, given the timing.
All 20 of the booted veterans have ended up at a Hudson Valley hotel about 20 minutes away, said Toney-Finch, who asked that The Post not name the site.
The Crossroads, Super 8 and the hotel where the vets are now staying had no comment when contacted by The Post on Friday.
Hampton Inn did not immediately respond to a message left on voicemail.
Toney-Finch said the veterans had originally been set to temporarily stay at the three hotels for up to four weeks, till permanent housing for them could be found.
The vets were about two weeks into their hotel stays when they got the boot, she said.
“Now we have to work from ground zero. We just lost that trust [with the vets],” the organizer said.
“A lot of them are Vietnam veterans. We do help them on a constant basis to get them benefits and help them find a place in society.”
State Assemblyman Brian Maher, a Republican who helps rep Orange County, said, “Shining a light on this is important because we need to make sure these hotels know how important it is to respect the service of our veterans before they kick [them] out of hotels to make room.”
“They really ought to think about the impact on these people already going through a traumatic time,’’ he told The Post.
“Whether you agree with asylum-seekers being here or not, we can’t just ignore these veterans that are in our charge that we are supposed to protect: the New Yorkers and Americans.”
“We need to put them first.”
Toney-Finch said she believes it all comes down to money.
“They want to get paid’’ more, she said of the hotels, referring to what her group shells out to get the vets housing compared to what the city is paying for each migrant.
“That’s so unfair, because at the end of the day, we are a small nonprofit, and we do pay $88 a day for a veteran to be there,” she said.
While it’s unclear what the city is paying upstate, various reported deals between the Big Apple and Manhattan hotels have called for payments such as $190 a night — part of an estimated $4.3 billion migrant price tag for taxpayers through spring 2024.
Adams began bussing migrants flooding the city to The Crossroads on Thursday — hours before a key federal immigration-rule change was set to take effect and feared to increase the influx even more.
Hizzoner’s move spurred a vicious war of words between Adams and officials in Orange and neighboring Rockland County, where the mayor also has threatened to bus migrants — till a lawsuit at least temporarily blocked the move.
Maher said it’s outrageous that veterans are getting caught in the crossfire of the migrant crisis.
“For these people only being there a few weeks, then to be told after having a level of trust developed, ‘Hey, you have to get out,’ That’s not right,’’ he said.
“One thing I’m doing today is my staff and I are putting together care packages to let them know: ‘Listen, we are embarrassed by this.’
“We put a bunch of things in the care package as well as cards for the veterans to say, ‘Thank you.’ ”