Third illegal makeshift shelter housing African migrants revealed in NYC

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A Senegalese man who was busted this week for illegally housing dozens of African migrants packed into two of his properties was also nabbed for operating a similar makeshift shelter in January, the New York Post reports.

Ebou Sarr, 47, who has apparently had several run-ins with the law in the past, was found to have been charging the desperate migrants $300 a month to stay at his two New York City properties – a furniture store in Queens and a former cell phone store in the Bronx – where they faced cramped living conditions. Video from inside the Queens building shows a room with tightly packed bunk beds side by side divided by a narrow aisle.  

Sarr was hit with a slew of violations for the buildings’ dangerous conditions and both were ordered vacated.


The New York Post, citing court documents, now reports that Sarr was also busted in January for operating a third pop-up hostel in an abandoned library in the Bronx. The building, known as the Old Fordham Library, is located at 2556 Bainbridge Ave., just off Coles Lane.

He reportedly told police they were walking into “our migrant shelter,” when they sweeped the old bookhouse, the court documents state.

“I run it,” Sarr told police, according to a criminal complaint. “I help these people because they have nowhere to go. Shelters won’t accept us. I have proof of residency from the mayor… I have a business up the street, but this is where I live.”

He was charged with criminal trespassing, the NYPD told Fox News Digital.


Still, Sarr is demanding the city let migrants use the building as a shelter since it is currently lying idle.

“Places like that, they can put the people in. Fix the place and put the people in there,” Sarr told the Post.

“It was a place that I think is empty and it’s safe for us to put our people. We were trying to get the city to give us that library. It’s been there for so many years,” Sarr told The Post Thursday.

Police also revealed to Fox News Digital that Sarr has been arrested several times over the last decade.

In 2020, he was arrested for allegedly pushing his wife, causing her to hit her head on a chair, before then trying to strangle her. He has also been arrested for operating a stolen car without a license, criminal possession of marijuana and criminal contempt for violating an order of protection.

On Wednesday, city officials swept a two-story commercial building on East Kingsbridge Road in Fordham being operated by Sarr, where they found 34 beds on the first floor and 11 beds in the cellar tightly packed together. 

Inspectors also found extension cords, e-bikes, space heaters and hotplates inside the Bronx building, the New York City Dept. of Buildings (DOB) told Fox 5. Lithium batteries caused a record number of fires, injuries and deaths in New York City last year, according to the FDNY, highlighting the hazardous nature of the facility. 

The sweep came just two days after a furniture building in Queens owned by Sarr was found to have also been converted into a makeshift hostel, cramming at least 74 migrants into the first floor and cellar. 

Sarr told Fox 5 that most of the migrants are from Senegal and that he was providing them with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Cellphone video from inside the building showed the African men in a bright white room full of beds with a low ceiling. The beds are placed close together with limited walking room — a single narrow lane runs through the room with beds on either side. Another video showed a similar room full of bunk beds.

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