Since May, more than 11,000 people seeking asylum in the United States have arrived in New York City. Most of the families arriving have been shipped on long bus rides, with misleading information, by the Governor of Texas. We are proud to say that New York—our city government and our civic organizations alike—have welcomed people with open arms. However, the influx of people is adding pressure to our already strained social safety net. The city government is in a race to honor its right to shelter, considering even cruise ships to temporarily house these families after quickly opening 23 emergency shelters. Nonprofit organizations have been directly roped into the crisis, saying that federal officials are sending the new arrivals and their paperwork directly to their addresses.
Houses of worship and nonprofit organizations have long been at the forefront of welcoming immigrants, and the latest influx of Latin American asylum seekers in New York City is no exception. We at Trinity are proud to play a part in that response because scripture demands it:
Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
We are responding through our Philanthropies department, acting quickly to make three executive approval grants of $100,000 each:
- To the New York Immigration Coalition, for its Welcoming New York Campaign, which is working to ensure that asylum seekers and migrants arriving in the city have access to the services, shelter, and care they need to begin new lives.
- To United Way of New York City, for its Emergency Assistance and Community Needs Fund, which is directing resources to community-based organizations providing support services for asylum seekers and migrants.
- To Acacia Network Housing, to support language and cultural enrichment programs for asylum seekers (both adults and children) who are staying at the organization’s eight emergency transitional housing sites serving migrant families across the city.
We are also responding through our Neighborhood Support department, distributing more than $500,000 in supplies:
- Supporting the New York Immigration Coalition with supplies, toys, and clothing for children ages 5-9, and feminine hygiene products to be handed out at the Port Authority Bus Terminal where families are arriving.
- Supporting Acacia with supplies and clothing for families in two of their shelters.
- Supporting WIN, a Trinity grantee and the largest provider of shelter and supportive housing for New York City's homeless families, with supplies, clothing, food, and translators for the families in their shelters.
- Supporting Graham Windham, an organization caring for children and families since 1806, with supplies for families who have settled in the Bronx.
At Trinity, we are blessed by our ability to both make strategic grants and to provide direct services, manifested in providing both for the New York Immigration Coalition and Acacia. We look to help however we can provide the most flexibility.
Moreover, we are identifying how members of the Trinity community can directly assist. For example, after hearing that language barriers inhibit supportive services, we are exploring how we can help with translation through congregation and clergy networks.
Trinity seeks to walk alongside our grantees and those whose humanity is sometimes denied by our society. We hope that our fellow New Yorkers join us. Learn more about how you can help by visiting our Volunteer page; we all have the power, wisdom, and experience to make a difference.