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Where can migrants get help in New York?


Alina Prikhodko

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Self-help groups, nonprofits and city officials are coordinating donation drives for migrant families. They hope to meet the needs of asylum seekers in New York City shelters by partnering with New Yorkers. Documented New York talked about where you can get help if you are a migrant, and how to join the initiative if you are a conscientious New Yorker.

Many organizations and institutions hold campaigns to collect toys for migrant children, and also collect warm clothes for asylum seekers living in city shelters. Some organizations need volunteers and donations to maintain their operations.

What organizations help migrants in New York

There are many more organizations in the city that are currently holding donation drives to help migrants. Find a local mutual aid specialist and/or representative in list of mutual aid services in New York. Enter your zip code or address to find your nearest Mutual Aid Center.

How can you help

Since the arrival of more than 45 migrants in New York City, many organizations have relied on volunteers and donations to provide critical assistance. Volunteers (especially those who can work on a long-term basis) are always needed. Each organization has its own programs. Call ahead to find out how best to participate.

On the subject: Work in New York for a Russian-speaking applicant: how to find it and what an immigrant can apply for

Help services always adapt to needs, as was the case at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, explained Lorena Kourouzias, chief executive of Mixteca. She said the organization has helped families get information about accessing health services and has also launched virtual group workshops so migrants don't have to grieve the loss of loved ones alone.

Such group workshops help migrants cope with trauma, and each week groups of women and men meet for mental health counseling on a variety of occasions. In addition to moral support, organizations provide assistance with a wide variety of requests: food, clothing, housing, art workshops and legal assistance in obtaining identification documents.

Organizations are looking for volunteers with experience to provide professional assistance, as well as people without special skills who are ready to help with pressing issues. There are a lot of migrants, but there are much fewer people willing to help.

“If you're interested in something as simple as distributing toiletries, food or helping people change their address, there's a big need,” Kourouzias said, adding that some volunteers take workshops to become familiar with the organizations' specific processes and programs.

Food items are essential, especially snacks that can be microwaved and those that don't require cooking. Families really need them. The need for clothing is also very great. Many migrants complain that their documents and belongings were taken by immigration authorities at the border.

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