The Road Forward for Asylum Seekers
NYC Mayor Adams unveiled the plan, "The Road Forward: Blueprint to Address New York City’s Response to the Asylum Seeker Crisis,” to assist over 30,000 asylum seekers currently in the city’s care and streamline the process for newly arrived asylum seekers. The plan includes initiatives such as the establishment of an Office of Asylum Seeker Operations, a 24/7 arrival center, and efforts to provide legal assistance and workforce development opportunities. Adams also plans to engage the wider NYC residents through working with stakeholders like faith-based organizations.
This announcement comes after the City Comptroller's financial assessment of the existing response to the migrant crisis. The report recommends to scale up immigration and legal services and prioritize long-term housing for asylum seekers and unhoused population to reduce costs in the city's response to the migrant crisis for the long-run.
Some have raised concerns because the Mayor has since refused to disclose other cities that are considered to host the resettled migrants.
The plan will specifically work with non-profit organizations and houses of worship to provide shelter and connect people to services. The Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships Executive Director (and former Bricks and Mortals Board Member) Pastor Gil Monrose shared, “[we are] proud to work alongside houses of worship who stepped up to provide much-needed clothing, services, and community to asylum seekers. Our office looks forward to working with everyday New Yorkers to expand partnerships and cooperation across our city to support the efforts of asylum seekers.”
This effort to collaborate with houses of worship falls in line with Mayor Adams’ statements at last week’s Interfaith Prayer Breakfast. While his comments on church and state have come under fire, he spoke to the role that faith-based organizations can play in providing services including shelter, food, and education especially as the city is grappling with the migrant and housing crises.
A partnership in Denton, Texas highlights how houses of worship and the city can work together to develop affordable housing. First United Methodist Church of Denton, TX is addressing affordable housing head-on with its decision to donate two acres of land and build an apartment complex with 185-units of affordable housing. To implement the $40 million-project, the church plans to use federal grants and partner with Volunteers of America (a faith-based not-for-profit) and Matthews Southwest, a real estate developer.