Migrant workers in the Hamptons resort to living in the woods due to high rent

Some migrant workers who work in the Hamptons are living in the woods, unable to afford houses in the pricey South Fork communities.

News 12 Staff

Jul 13, 2022, 10:21 PM

Updated 736 days ago

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Some migrant workers who work in the Hamptons are living in the woods, unable to afford houses in the pricey South Fork communities.
Makeshift tents, dirty mattresses, and discarded food and beer cans are visible in the nearby wooded areas.
Rafael Torres works at nearby Valero Gas Station and tells News 12 that he sees migrant workers living there and tries to help them.
"I feel so bad for them - sometimes I bring clothes to them in the wintertime," Torres says. "I brought jackets, pillows, anything that could help them. They were happy."
Torres say the workers pick up day jobs, but it's not enough to make a livable wage.
One man, who didn't want to give his name, told News 12 that the rent is high so they can't afford to get an apartment and are forced to sleep outside.
The conditions caught the attention of the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, which started a donation outreach to help the homeless workers.
"We'll come out here if one of our clients says they are homeless," says Bryan Browns. "We will come out here - we will bring extra and look for any encampment that could use our supplies."
Some who live in Westhampton say they didn't know that homeless workers were living in the woods.
"I think it's really sad that they don't have a place to live and can't pay rent there, just trying to make a living," says Andrew Caponi, of Speonk.


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