Spring Creek Settler's Park
Owner City of New York Established May 3, 2015
Purpose Settlement Relocation Temporary Housing
Status Active

Spring Creek Settlers' Park is a temporary housing center set in what was once the Spring Creek public park; it lies along the Jamaica Bay shoreline, between Howard Beach in Queens and Spring Creek in Brooklyn. The park was created on landfilled former marshland, and much of it was previously an undeveloped nature preserve, with only small portions accessible to the public for recreation. When the Safe Zone was created, the park became home to tens of thousands of temporary shelters constructed by FEMA in association with SLC-Expressive engineers and fabricators from SESA.

Initially, the park housed about 12,000 immigrants or displaced citizens waiting to be assigned permanent housing through the city's lottery system. Today, about a third of the FEMA trailers have been removed and the land has repurposed with amenities to make the temporary residents' lives a little richer. A playground, a community garden, and a library housed within an old school bus are among the new additions to the park. Security has been improved, thanks to both hired guards and the newly-restored NYPD presence.

Spring Creek Settler's Park

Additional Info

The state of New York came under harsh criticism for the lack of appropriate security and law enforcement in these relocation centers, resulting in a high density of petty crimes. Former residents complained of overly long wait periods (typically 3 to 4 months) between being assigned temporary housing and receiving with permanent housing through the resettlement lottery system. These days, the wait time is shorter at about a month to 2 months before resident move on to more stable living conditions.

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