CRS Supports Asylum Seekers
Nov 09 , 2022/Category

Congregation Rodeph Sholom is mobilizing to provide food, clothing, shelter and social services to asylum seekers who have recently arrived in New York City. We’d like to give you a brief update on our projects and invite you to participate in any way that you can.

  1. Backpacks for recent arrivals We are working with St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church to provide backpacks filled with necessities for asylum seekers who have been placed in shelters. Thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers, we were able to solicit donations of the requested items (towels, socks, toiletries, snacks, Metro Cards, etc.) and pack more than 30 backpacks on October 24th. We brought them to SPSA and Rev Matthews delivered them to La Morada, a Bronx restaurant which doubles as a Mutual Aid network. La Morada then distributes to new arrivals in shelters.

How you can help:

– Volunteer to pack backpacks onFriday, November 4th at 9:30

– Order and ship items from the Amazon Wish List. Ship to Cantor De Lowe at CRS. Amazon Wish List

– Purchase tampons and hand deliver to CRS, Attention Cantor De Lowe (Amazon wouldn’t ship)

– Donate $22 Metro Cards. Deliver to CRS, Attention Cantor De Lowe

– Donate $20 bills. Deliver to CRS, Attention Cantor De Lowe

  1. Support John Harry and his family. John Harry and his family are recent asylum seekers from Venezuela, living in two shelters in Queens. Rev Matthews at SPSA introduced us to the family and asked us to help provide them with essentials, clothing, application for asylum, employment, ESL and homework assistance.

How you can help:

– Purchase warm clothing and shoes for John Harry and his family. Their sizes are: 

Pants Coats Shoes

John Harry 32 waist Large 10 ½

Wife 28 waist XL 8

Son 32 waist Large 10 ½

Daughter (11) 14 12 6

Daughter (9) 10 Medium 4 ½

Granddaughter (2) 3T 3T

– Partial clothing Amazon Wish List: Amazon Wish List

– Volunteer to tutor their daughters, ages 9 and 11, who are enrolled in public school and rapidly falling behind. They need homework assistance and ESL. We’ll try to set up remotely via What’s App on John Harry’s phone.

– Volunteer to be an interpreter at our meetings with their pro bono attorney.

  1. Park West Hotel/Family Shelter The Park West Hotel (465 CPW) has been repurposed as a shelter for women and children who are seeking asylum. A number of the women are in their third trimester and several have recently given birth. 

How you can help:

– Join their WhatsApp group.

– They frequently post about urgent needs (diapers, wipes) as well as volunteer services needed.

  1. Provide Shelter. The most urgent need for recent arrivals is shelter. A few of our congregants have volunteered to host one or more asylum seekers in an empty bedroom.

How you can help:

– Email Cantor De Lowe if you have space available.

  1. St Paul & St Andrews Church. The church (at 86th St & WEA) has been providing shelter, meals and social services for five men.

How you can help:

– Provide hot dinners. Lotsa Helping Hands

In the weeks ahead…

The situation for Venezuelan asylum seekers changes rapidly. As you may know, one week ago the US stopped permitting Venezuelan asylum seekers to cross the border to seek asylum. Instead, they are being returned to Mexico. Now only 24,000 Venezuelans will be granted humanitarian parole. They will need to secure a visa from outside the US and will be required to travel by plane to enter the country. The humanitarian crisis is still unfolding in NYC, but our focus will be on those asylees who are already here.

We anticipate continuing to collaborate with neighborhood synagogues and churches both on rapid response projects and longer term ongoing ones. We are sharing resources, volunteers, information and our experience with one another. 

Please also stay tuned for updates about the reopening of the CRS shelter