Months after being evicted from his home in a Staten Island senior home, 94-year-old veteran Frank Tammaro received the shocking news that the building had been converted into a migrant shelter.
This is the first part of Crisis in New York, a series that delves into the impact of public policies on the city’s already burdened housing, law enforcement, and drug services.
Frank Tammaro, a 94-year-old Army veteran, cherished the senior center that had been his home for five years. However, he was heartbroken when he received the news that he would need to relocate and find a new place to live.
Tammaro expressed her distress, stating, “I felt awful. Being forcibly removed from a residence is no laughing matter.”
Months later, the senior found himself living with his daughter after going through two moves and being hospitalized due to an injury. It was during this time that he received news that migrants were moving into his previous residence, and they were not required to pay rent.
Growing up in the Lower East Side during the 1930s and 1940s, Tammaro, a lifelong New Yorker, recalls his childhood in what he refers to as the “slums.”
“I do feel frustrated when I witness them distributing such large sums of money and possessions, while I am diligently paying my taxes and yet struggling to make ends meet,” he expressed his discontent. “I have never received any assistance from the city or the state.”
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Tammaro had made plans to spend the rest of his life at the Island Shores Senior Residence. However, in September 2022, he and the other residents were taken aback when they received notices stating that the facility would be closing down. They were given until March to vacate the premises. Despite receiving these letters, Tammaro and many of the other 53 seniors living there initially disregarded them. It wasn’t until someone pointed out that they only had a few weeks left to find new accommodations that they realized the urgency of the situation.
Tammaro recounted the experience, expressing her fear and vulnerability. She emphasized how daunting it was for her, particularly due to her limited mobility. She confessed that she felt disoriented and lost, unsure of her destination.
According to a statement from Homes for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, the intention behind selling Island Shores is to prioritize their core mission of serving homeless families. The organization expressed its preference for a buyer who specializes in senior care.
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The staff at Island Shores assured the upset seniors that there was a high possibility of the facility being sold and reopened. However, Barbara Annunziata, Tammaro’s daughter, remained skeptical of this claim and decided to contact the building’s management herself to seek answers.
Frank Tammaro, a resident of Island Shores Senior Residence, was recently informed that he and all the other residents must vacate the premises by March 1. This news came as a shock to Tammaro, who had been living there for five years.
“We were aware that something would be placed there,” Annunziata stated. “They consistently mentioned, ‘oh, they’re going to sell it. They’re going to sell it.’ That’s the message they constantly conveyed to me.”
Tammaro spent two years serving stateside during the Korean War in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His role involved the crucial task of fixing telephone lines and enhancing communication between military camps. Being one of the eight veterans residing in Island Shores before its closure, his contribution to the war effort was commendable.
“I didn’t experience combat,” Tammaro explained. “But those brave men who were sent into the battlefield, who are now trying to rebuild their lives, it’s unjust how they’ve been affected.”
New York City to Reduce Police Numbers, Slash Budgets due to Billions Spent on Migrant Crisis
The city of New York is taking steps to reduce the number of police officers and cut budgets as a result of the billions of dollars spent on the migrant crisis. This decision comes as the city grapples with the financial strain caused by the ongoing influx of migrants and the costs associated with their housing, healthcare, and other basic needs.
The move to reduce police numbers is not without controversy, as some argue that it could lead to an increase in crime rates and jeopardize public safety. However, proponents of the budget cuts argue that reallocating funds from law enforcement to social services and support for migrants is a necessary step to address the pressing needs of this vulnerable population.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been vocal about his support for redirecting funds away from the police department and towards social programs. He believes that investing in education, affordable housing, and mental health services will ultimately lead to a safer and more equitable city for all residents, including migrants.
Critics of the decision worry that reducing police numbers could result in longer response times to emergencies and a decrease in overall police presence. However, supporters argue that by investing in community-based initiatives and crime prevention strategies, the city can still maintain public safety while addressing the underlying issues that contribute to crime.
The debate surrounding the allocation of funds in New York City highlights the ongoing challenges faced by cities grappling with the financial burdens of the migrant crisis. As policymakers navigate these complex issues, finding a balance between public safety and the needs of vulnerable populations remains a significant challenge.
Finding a new assisted living facility that suited his needs proved to be a challenge for the 94-year-old when he was evicted from Island Shores.
Tammaro admitted that he was not quick in leaving the area. He had assumed that his luggage would already be waiting for him outside.
The senior center, just minutes away from where the 94-year-old veteran was residing with his daughter, was undergoing a transformation into a temporary shelter for migrants.
After relocating to a different senior residence, Tammaro experienced a fall that resulted in hospitalization. Expressing his reluctance, he informed his daughter about his unwillingness to go back to the recently established facility.
According to Annunziata, he strongly disliked living in that place and questioned why someone of his age should spend the remainder of their life in a location they disliked.
New York Democrats overwhelmingly express concern about the issue of migrants, according to a recent poll. The survey reveals that a significant majority of Democrats in New York consider migration to be a serious problem. This finding highlights the growing awareness and apprehension among Democrats in the state regarding the impact of migration. It underscores the need for effective strategies and policies to address this issue and ensure the well-being of both migrants and the local community.
Annunziata decided to bring her father into her home in Midland Beach, New York, providing him with round-the-clock care.
“I can’t leave him home alone,” she exclaimed. “I’ve already raised my kids, and they’re all grown up. But still, he’s 94 years old, although taking care of him is relatively easy.”
In August, Tammaro, along with the rest of the community, discovered that Homes for the Homeless had reached an agreement with city hall to relocate migrants to Island Shores.
About 200 buildings in New York City have been transformed into emergency shelters to accommodate the influx of migrants who have arrived in the city after crossing the southern border since October 2022.
The city’s budget and services have been pushed to their limits due to the arrival of asylum seekers, creating a desperate environment, as highlighted by Mayor Eric Adams during his visit to Mexico in October. He emphasized that with a monthly influx of 10,000 new refugees, there seems to be no end in sight.
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In September, Island Shores became the new home for 15 families seeking asylum. The word quickly spread, attracting a large crowd of protesters who gathered outside the facility. As tensions rose, law enforcement had to step in and arrest 10 individuals who attempted to block a bus carrying migrants from reaching the building.
Barbara Annunziata, the daughter of Tammaro, expresses her ongoing anger over her father’s eviction from his home, emphasizing that the entire situation is unjust for everyone involved.
Annunziata expressed her frustration, stating, “I don’t understand it at all. It’s not fair to anybody. These migrants are receiving everything, while I can’t get anything for [Tammaro]. It angers me.”
Getting help for her father has been a struggle, according to her. Unfortunately, his insurance has rejected any long-term care requests.
Annunziata expressed frustration with the lack of support she has been able to secure for her son. She explained to Fox News that she was only able to obtain an aide for a limited period of 30 days, and then the assistance was abruptly canceled. In response to this situation, she asked, “So what, does he have to cover the costs himself?” Annunziata’s concerns highlight the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in accessing the necessary support and assistance they require.
She added that migrants receive everything while he is not entitled to anything.
Tammaro has settled in with his daughter, just a few minutes away from his old home, now known as the Midland Beach Migrant Center, following the “horrible experience.”
Tammaro expressed that he initially felt bitter about his situation. However, he now feels content with where he is in life.
“I was content with my situation until they forcibly removed me,” he exclaimed. “However, we are now making the most out of this unfortunate circumstance.”
Annunziata is still filled with anger about the way her father was treated.
“She said that they are more concerned about the migrants rather than the U.S. citizens.”
Homes for the Homeless chose not to provide any comments on the matter.
Megan Myers, a talented associate producer/writer, is a valuable member of the Fox News Digital Originals team.