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Weekly Resource Round-Up: January 23, 2024

This Week's Resources



If you have resources to share with our network, please contact Tobi Mojeed-Balogun our Associate Director of Programs Support.


EDNY Diocesan-Wide Emergency Asylum Seeker Support Network


On Jan 31, 2024 at 3:00 PM, EC and the Diocese of New York will be convening the first meeting of the Diocesan-Wide Emergency asylum Seekers Support Network.


"Join this meeting of people from throughout the Diocese of NY to learn about advocacy and grassroots response to the asylum seeker crisis in New York. This meeting is for any interested person in the diocese to attend whether you are already engaged in an outreach effort or want to help/learn more."


You will be able see what programs around the Diocese are doing to meet the challenge of the asylum seekers crisis and work towards creating a support network to facilitate collaboration.



EC Procession at Installation of 17th Bishop of New York


EC program partners have been specially invited to process as guests of Episcopal Charities at the installation of the 17th Bishop of New York on Saturday, February 10th, 2024, at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

 

“The installation service on Saturday, February 10 will celebrate how we’ve faced outward and joined with interfaith, ecumenical, and civic partners to participate in God’s healing of the world.”

 

The incoming Bishop, Matt Heyd, has reserved spots for a representative from each EC program (leaders, staff or volunteers) to be part of the procession and to be seated with EC staff for the service. If you would like to be part of the procession, you must be present inside the Cathedral by 10am. EC will provide a light breakfast prior to the procession for EC program guests. 

 

Please also indicate if you will plan to stay for the installation service following the procession so that we may include you in our reserved seating plan. If you are Episcopal clergy affiliated with EC, you should plan to process with Diocesan clergy.

 


If you need transportation, Diocesan buses will be departing from:

  • Rockland County

  • New Rochelle

  • Middletown

  • Poughkeepsie

  • Staten Island

  

If you have any questions, please make sure to let me know.


Mayor Adams launches medical debt relief program to pay down $2B for 500,000 cash-strapped N.Y.ers (Daily News)


"Financially strapped New York City residents could have their medical debt paid off in full under a new program unveiled Monday by Mayor Adams, who said the initiative will clear away a total of $2 billion of medical debt for “hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.”

“Medical debt impacts so many New Yorkers,” Adams said during his announcement in the City Hall rotunda. “After your care, the last thing you should be worried about is being handed a bill that is beyond your ability to pay.”

To accomplish the goal of helping alleviate that burden on an estimated 500,000 people, the city is partnering with the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt, which will receive $18 million in city funding to pay down $2 billion in unpaid hospital bills. Adams said the effort will unfold over the next three years." Read more here.


New Yorkers back ‘right to shelter,’ but hold ambivalent views on housing migrants (Gothamist)


"New polling of New Yorkers reveals wide-ranging ambivalence about the city’s sheltering of its burgeoning migrant population, including on such basic questions as whether the city should continue helping the newcomers settle — and for how long.

An email heralding a HarrisX survey published earlier this month was emphatic about a key finding: “NEW POLL: 4-in-5 NEW YORKERS ‘SUPPORT RIGHT TO SHELTER,’” which it defined as guaranteeing shelter “to every resident in need.” But mixed feelings emerge deeper into the survey: Just 58% agreed that the city’s “right to shelter should include all families in need, including asylum-seekers,” and 42% agreed that “the right to shelter should be limited to only New York families.”" Read more here.


“I Felt Like I Was Going to Die Here,” Migrants Evicted from NYC Shelters Face Dangerous Cold (Documented)


"The migrant men lay their blankets on the wood floor, where they would spend the night. Many had not been able to shower in more than a week. Others said they felt sick as their coughs echoed through the room. The recent snowstorm added urgency to the need for housing, which for the migrants, had no sign of coming anytime soon. 

As temperatures dropped, they had spent the day wandering Manhattan after not receiving a shelter assignment at the St. Brigid intake site in the East Village until they had arrived at a gym in an Upper Manhattan church [Church of the Intercession] for a place to sleep." Read more here.


Bronx food pantry in crisis as desperate need surpasses supply (Fox 5 NY)


"THE BRONX - The food pantry in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx is preparing to distribute food Thursday and Friday to those in need, and the numbers are growing. 

Aleksander Nilaj is the president of the Albanian and American Open Hand Association Food Pantry. He also volunteers.

"Don't forget the Bronx is the most poor community in New York," Nilaj said.

The need is outweighing the supply. In fact, the food pantry's shelves had been empty for the past two weeks, and they had to turn people away.

"It's heartbreaking," Nilaj said. "It's first time in 10 years we have to turn people home without no food. Nothing! Nothing!"" Read and watch the feature here.


State funds to provide over five months of free Middletown bus fares (Mid Hudson News)


"GOSHEN – Orange County is going to receive a $60,000 state grant to provide free bus transportation in the City of Middletown for several months.

County Planning Commissioner Alan Sorensen said the project is similar to one provided in the City of Newburgh one year earlier.

“With the $60,000 we anticipate that we will be able to provide about five months of free bus fare for all of the fixed routes in the City of Middletown including the paratransit,” he said.  “What we saw last year in Newburgh was that when we were able to provide the free fares there was an increase in ridership so we will be tracking that as we move forward.”

When fares resumed in Newburgh, Sorensen said there was an increase in ridership over the previous levels of paid service." Read more here.


Mount Vernon has highest unemployment rate in region (Mid-Hudson News)


"ALBANY – The City of Mount Vernon, with 5.2 percent unemployment in November 2023, had the highest level of joblessness in the Hudson Valley, according to the latest statistics from the state labor department.

Regionwide, unemployment stood at 3.5 percent." Read more here.


New York Common Pantry Personal Care and Hygiene Wishlist


Here's a message from our friends at NY Common Pantry:


"Dear Friends of NY Common Pantry,


As you may have read, a building in the Bronx collapsed [December 11th]. NYCP was asked by the Bronx Borough President's office to provide hygiene kits for the residents that were displaced by this event.  While we could answer the need, it meant that all our supplies have been depleted and we need these kits for our participants who come daily. While we should manage through the holiday - we will need these in the new year.The kits consist of a mix of  toothpaste, shampoo, shaving kits, toothbrush, soap and chapstick etc. They can be made into kits or items can be collected and donated to NYCP where kits can be made.  It might be a perfect January event after the holidays if your schools could help us out with a much needed collection. If your students will travel or parents travel for work, those hotel size toiletries are perfectly fine.This is the link on Amazon to make it even easier to see what is needed and how easy it is to create the kits at home or at work - https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1DM1TOXUVSRL7?ref_=wl_share."



NYS COVID and MonkeyPox Updates (Plus Info about the Flu, RSV, and Norovirus)


A lot of the news around mandates, vaccines and restrictions have been a little confusing so I will list some resources below that might help.

  • Interview with NYC Health Commissioner on COVID bump. Link here.

  • NYS Department of Health COVID website - It's a one stop shop with an info summary at the top. Link here.

  • NYC Department of Health Monkeypox Webpage - lots of information and resources about the virus with pictures of the rash included. Find the link here.

    • With Mpox at Risk of Flaring, Health Officials Advise, ‘Get Vaccinated’ - New York Times - Read here

  • COVID vs Flu vs RSV info - I found a good article from the Washington post that gives information about three viruses that have been spiking this winter. Read the article here.

  • The Time Magazine article on the new variant (XBB.1.5) - Link Here

  • US News and World Report article on newest variant (BA.2.86) - Link Here

  • COVID is back in NY. What to know about schools, nursing homes and more (lohud.) - link here

  • How to Keep Tabs on COVID Through Wastewater Testing in NYC (The City) - link here


Scams pretending to be immigration agencies: How to protect yourself (Documented)


"Fraudulent emails and messages have circulated social media, masquerading as communications from federal immigration agencies, that falsely promise migrants legal representation for obtaining a Green Card in exchange for a small fee. Scammers specifically target Spanish-speaking, migrant New Yorkers who are in the process of adjusting their immigration status.

Rosa Santana, the Bond Director at Envision Fund, contacted Documented regarding scam messages circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp. The emails also falsely claim that failure to respond to the correspondence could result in a “negative report in the migration system,” making individuals “prone to deportation.”

Scam messages that target migrants are nothing new, as Documented reported in the past during the Excluded Workers Fund. However, these new scams exploit the necessity of migrants as they seek asylum in the United States. Here are some of the common scams targeting migrants with immigration cases and how to avoid them." Read the rest of the guide here.


Safe Church Training


Safe Church is handled by the Diocesan Human Resources Department which can be reached at safechurchinfo@dioceseny.org. You can also call 917 414 0156.



Documented's Mental Health Resources for Immigrants in New York


"A list of organizations that provide free or low-cost mental health care services to immigrants in New York

It can be overwhelming to find mental health care services, so Documented compiled a list of organizations and groups that offer low cost options, accept Medicaid, or render free services to individuals who are seeking counseling.

Most of these locations provide services in English and Spanish. We recommend reaching out to the location for more information, as some of the prices for services given are based on the level of income. For emergencies always call 911.


You can also contact NYC Well for free, confidential crisis counseling, mental health, and substance misuse support, information, and referral. You can reach the toll-free helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone, text and online chat. Mental health professionals there can link you to the services you need. Phone: 888-692-9355 | (Espanol): 888-692-9355"



NYC migrant crisis: Where to volunteer and what to donate (Gothamist)


"Mayor Eric Adams has repeatedly urged New Yorkers to volunteer or donate to help ease the asylum-seeker crisis, but figuring out where to go to help or what items to give can be difficult.

For information on how New Yorkers can help, Gothamist spoke with the mayor's office as well as several organizers involved in daily efforts to aid migrants who have recently arrived in the city." Read more here.


Documented's Immigrant Resources and Job/Housing Discrimination Guides


"Documented has gathered all of the resources we can find to help immigrant New Yorkers. New links will be added and the following pages will be constantly updated. If you would like us to add information to this list or have questions, please reach out to us at info@documentedny.com."



"The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the most comprehensive anti-discrimination laws in the country, prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion/creed, age, national origin, immigration or citizenship status, gender (including sexual harassment), gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, military service, marital status and partnership status. As a newsroom that serves immigrant communities, Documented has written a comprehensive guide for immigrants."




Hudson Link Employer Toolkit


Our friends at Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison put together an employer toolkit for hiring formerly incarcerated people. Thank you to Sean Pica, Eldredge Blalock, Elisabeth Santiago, and the rest of the team at Hudson Link for this important resource. The toolkit can be found here. If you have any questions about hiring formerly incarcerated people, please contact Elisabeth Santiago from Hudson Link's Alumni Services at esantiago@hudsonlink.org.




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That's all for this week -- thanks for all you do!


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