Brooklynites from around the borough are rushing to help the influx of asylum seekers arriving in New York just as Mayor Eric Adams declares a state of emergency. Over 17,000 refugees have already arrived in the city due to elected officials in the South, reports The Brooklyn Paper.
“New York City is doing all we can, but we are reaching the outer limit of our ability to help,” Adams said.
While government officials are seemingly overwhelmed, locals have provided additional relief. One group of parents and teachers at P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights are focusing their efforts on integrating migrant families into the community and ensuring that their needs are being met.
“The P.S. 9 community organized from the moment the asylum families arrived, focusing on two main things: integrating them into the community and ensuring that they were fed, dressed, and informed,” a group of P.S. 9 parents said in a statement.
The group has coordinated a food train to provide daily warm meals to all P.S. 9 migrant families in need from September to December. In addition, committees have organized multiple clothing and toy drives, a buddy system to aid with language barriers and seminars to help refugees navigate government assistance programs.
Despite ongoing community support, officials continue to stress the importance of collaboration between government resources and local groups to provide refugees with the most care.
“When we learned there were two emergency shelters opening in our district, our office immediately sprung into action,” said Council Member Shahana Hanif, who represents Park Slope and the surrounding areas.
“We are engaged with government partners to get an accurate headcount and understanding of the facilities and services.”
Local organizations such as Gowanus Mutual Aid, CHiPS and Mixteca are just some of many aid organizations constantly seeking out new ways to serve asylum seekers. But, New Yorkers can also reach out to local government officials to inquire about any new resources for migrant refugees.
“While we’re doing work on the ground, it’s important to remember this is a citywide situation that requires a citywide response,” Hanif continued.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is that every level of government works together to ensure the needs of asylum seekers are met.”