Opportunity to Support a Family Seeking Asylum

As many in the IWR community know, Ithaca Welcome Refugees was created with a hope of supporting the resettlement of refugee families to our welcoming community. This part of our mission has been challenged by political decisions.

In response, we’ve expanded our mission to include resettling refugee families as they have come, supporting families seeking access to English classes, and responding to challenges faced by immigrants at risk.

We’ve recently been offered the opportunity, in partnership with Catholic Charities, to consider fully supporting the arrival of an asylum-seeking family in Ithaca. The family is from Angola and is fleeing persecution in their home country. They are two parents who have come to the United States seeking sanctuary and a safe place with their four children. 

We see this opportunity to support this family as being in line with our core IWR hopes and dreams – hopes for the family and for our community, which has so much welcome to give.

Asylum-seekers are legally released in the U.S. to await their opportunity to share their story and their need for protection with our immigration courts. While they wait to be heard, they need support to learn about their new home community, to help them navigate, to get work authorization, to find a job, to enroll in English classes, etc. – many of the same types of support IWR and Catholic Charities have experience providing to other families seeking refuge.

One significant difference is that asylum-seekers do not receive any government financial assistance. They must rely on neighbors and friends like us for support, until they get settled in and start supporting themselves through work. We are very fortunate that an amazing local congregation has agreed to provide long term housing for the family at no cost until the family situation is financially stable.

However, additional cash assistance support is needed to help with food, children’s needs, medicine, and other basic expenses over the next year or more while their asylum case moves through our backlogged immigration court system. Our goal is to raise the financial support to give this family a temporary helping hand and a new start.

Please consider offering a generous donation here to provide for basic needs for this family or consider making a recurring gift to help IWR provide stable assistance. Any funds which exceed the family’s monthly needs will be used to support critical needs for refugees, asylees, or at-risk immigrants in our community.

If you have question about opportunities for financial sponsorship for the family, please contact Sophia Rocco at orgdev@ithacawelcomesrefugees.org