Squalid migrant campgrounds hide among luxury Hamptons homes

Illegal immigrants who mow the lawns and paint the mansions of wealthy Hamptons residents are getting compelled to are living in hovels hidden in the woods owing to the sky-high value of residing in the summertime playground of superstars this sort of as Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Joel and Jay-Z and Beyoncé, The Write-up has discovered.

Squalid encampments exist close to the tony city of Southampton, which include just off the principal highway and in the waterfront village of Westhampton Beach front.

“I function for very abundant people today in the Hamptons but I just cannot manage someplace to reside,” lamented Juan Antonio Morales, 40.

“I am paid out very small and an condominium expenditures far too much revenue.”

The Article discovered the native Guatemalan unfold out on a tattered chaise lounge in a greatly wooded area driving an abandoned fuel station together the Montauk Highway in Westhampton Beach last 7 days — as Aston Martins, Mercedes-Benzes and Range Rovers buzzed past close by.

Morales claimed he’d expended most of the day hanging out at a close by 7-Eleven retail outlet exactly where contractors decide up day laborers to function off the guides.

Juan Antonio Morales talks with the New York Post.
Juan Antonio Morales, a working day laborer, lives at the rear of an deserted gas station in West Hampton.
Kevin C. Downs
Homeless encampment  of workers in the woods behind a gas station.
Morales mentioned he is compensated way too minor to find the money for an condominium in the community.
Kevin C. Downs
A view of the tent Morales lives in.
Squalid encampments exist around the tony town of Southampton.
Kevin C. Downs

“I get the job done at massive properties that are incredibly attractive,” he said in seriously accented English.

Morales and other laborers The Post interviewed mentioned they experienced no plan who owned the homes exactly where they function.

Morales, who’s been in the US for about 15 yrs and has a wife and two children in Guatemala, said he commonly will get hired two days a week and tends to make about $200 a working day.

A abandoned gas station in West Hampton on Montauk Hwy and Oak Street in front of woods.
Morales stated he’d put in most of the working day hanging out at a close by 7-Eleven retailer exactly where contractors choose up working day laborers to get the job done off the textbooks.
Kevin C. Downs

“Every working day it is luck if I perform,” he reported.

“Maybe in Guatemala I would get a lot more get the job done but I really do not have enough income to get household.”

Morales typically sleeps in a makeshift, tarp-included shack with other migrants but utilizes a piece of carpet hung about a line involving two trees as shelter if the tents are full. He bathes in a fuel-station restroom, he stated.

A man sleeps behind an abandoned gas station in West Hampton.
A guy sleeps powering an abandoned gas station in West Hampton.
Kevin C. Downs

Nely Lopez, a landscaper who is also from Guatemala, reported he’s in a position to slumber lease-totally free on a couch in an East Hampton condominium but prefers to live portion-time in a camp behind the Southampton Entire Gospel Church on Route 27.

“I sleep on cardboard listed here in the woods at least a few evenings a week,” Lopez, 38, advised The Post. “I like it listed here.”

The woods the place the camps are situated are so dense, and the camps so secluded, that the workers feel absolutely free to depart their possessions there, even stashing pricey landscaping products.

A toy hangs from a tree in the encampment.
Morales and other laborers reported they had no thought who owned the properties the place they work.
Kevin C. Downs

“I like the Hamptons,” claimed Julio Cardona Fuentes, 54. “It’s a secure put to dwell and there are no complications with migration or law enforcement.”

Just one camp features a hearth pit surrounded by solid-off chairs and a table manufactured out of noticed horses.

A substantial tarp handles the sitting place, which is ringed with makeshift shacks loaded with mattresses and rough-hewn beds.

A pan lies in a put-out campfire.
1 camp attributes a fire pit surrounded by solid-off chairs and a desk created out of saw horses.
Kevin C. Downs

But the people obviously aren’t Boy Scouts, with piles of trash — mainly beer and liquor bottles — strewn about.

“We all have a drinking dilemma but there are no drugs in this article, just beers and cigarettes,” explained painter Jorge Mendosa, 34.

“We’re not a hazard to anyone.”

A mansion in the Hamptons sits along the water.
The Hamptons are popular for their magnificent and pricey homes.
TODOR TSVETKOV

Westhampton Seaside resident Gina Webster, whose household on Mill Street is in the vicinity of woods that hide an encampment, claimed the predicament was an open up secret among citizens.

“People like to pretend homelessness doesn’t exist in the Hamptons bubble,” Webster said.

“It’s the Hamptons and we like to fake serious-life problems never exist right here.”

The Lawful Assist Society of Suffolk County, which mentioned it counts some of the employees amid its consumers, decried their dwelling situation as tragic.

“It’s an complete tragedy that we have tough working persons functioning tirelessly to enhance the lives of all who stay in this article but can’t manage a harmless area to lay their heads,” said Bryan Browns, main authorized functions officer at the group.

“At the authorized aid society of Suffolk County, we have sources which include foodstuff, tents, and outfits to assist any individual that is homeless in Suffolk County thanks to the generous donations of normal citizens in the US.”

Bottles are strewn around the encampment.
Beer and liquor bottles ended up strewn about the encampment.
Kevin C. Downs

Dan O’Shea, who runs the Maureen’s Haven Homeless Outreach software in Riverhead, explained that “most communities” on Extensive Island’s East Close have “people dwelling in the woods that have nowhere else to reside.”

But in an ironic twist, O’Shea stated, the prosperity of the area’s inhabitants assists the homeless staff mix in greater than in other parts.

“You’re applied to looking at a homeless individual pushing a searching cart on a metropolis avenue,” he stated

“The Hamptons is a generous community,” he famous. “The homeless typically have model new operate boots from the church and could be donning a brand name new jacket they were supplied following a coat generate.”