Asylum Seeking Shelter Services

NYC is experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with the arrival of over 70,000 Asylum Seekers from Latin America and West Africa over the past year – with more arriving every week. The NYC shelter system, hotels and alternative housing sites have been overwhelmed as asylum seekers try to find safe shelter while awaiting immigration court proceedings. While most are single men, single women and families with children are also arriving. Many of these fellow global citizens in crisis have fled unimaginable conditions in their country of origin and then experienced an arduous journey on their way to New York City.

Many arriving asylum seekers have been traumatized by violence, robbery, sexual assault, and trafficking. They are also eager to start new lives. NYC government agencies, nonprofits and grassroots advocates have sought to create spaces and services that offer safe housing, compassionate care, immigration resources and the dignity of being treated with respect and with cultural and religious competence.

The city has been providing hotels, homeless shelters, and other mass care spaces as housing on a temporary basis. We are proposing to fund congregations, of any faith tradition, to provide temporary small group shelter housing to single adult male and female asylees. The program would provide shelter for the next 12-24 months while all of us continue to call on the state and Federal government to help address this need for more permanent housing.