Asylum Resource Navigation Center Will Provide Information, Range of Services to Asylum Seekers Arriving in New York City
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) Commissioner Zach Iscol, and New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Manuel Castro recently announced the opening of New York City’s first Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center. The center — operated by Catholic Charities of New York through a city contract — will support individuals and families who have arrived in New York City on or after January 1, 2022. The center will serve as a central place where newly arrived asylum seekers will receive free and confidential help accessing a variety of important services and resources that will help them integrate and thrive in New York City.
“Our city continues to welcome the thousands of families who have arrived in New York City in the last few months, but, today, we are announcing a one-stop-shop for those seeking asylum to receive free and confidential help accessing the important services and resources that will help them integrate and thrive in New York City,” said Mayor Adams. “The city and the community-based organizations we’ve partnered with on the ground have been working around the clock to provide assistance to the more than 11,000 individuals who have entered the city in the last few months. The Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center will streamline city and non-profit services into a central place for families to access everything from health care to education to jobs to immigration legal services so that they can build a life in New York City.”
“Whether it is legal assistance, medical care, school enrollment, or housing support, the Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center and the teams there will support people arriving in New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Thank you to our government and nonprofit partners for all the work they have done and will continue to do to help all the children, families, and individuals seeking asylum.”
“These asylum-seekers have been through a grueling journey. It is not only our responsibility as a city to help them adjust and regain their livelihoods, but it is an important investment in the future of New York City. The Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center plays a pivotal role in connecting them to the resources they need to build stable lives in our communities,” said NYCEM Commissioner Zach Iscol. “In New York City, we will continue to support asylum-seekers and ask that our fellow New Yorkers continue to welcome them with open arms just as we have done for generations of immigrants.”
“Throughout New York City’s history we have welcomed immigrants who in return have made this the greatest city in the world. Today, we continue to honor this legacy by meeting asylum seekers who have gone through an arduous journey with open arms,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Manuel Castro. “This Navigation Center is a key part of our asylum seeker response which looks to connect families and individuals to the resources they need to successfully integrate into our communities and pursue their American Dream.”
“New York City continues its tradition as a welcoming portal for those fleeing danger in their own countries and seeking protection and opportunity in the United States,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan. “Catholic Charities is proud to once again be at the heart of a welcoming New York, now, serving thousands of those seeking asylum from Venezuela and other countries. We are committed to our newest neighbors, helping them to become contributors to the vibrancy and economy of New York City.”
“The American Red Cross is pleased that our facility can serve as the Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center for people arriving in New York City,” said Mary Barneby, regional CEO, American Red Cross in Greater New York. “While the Red Cross is not offering services for asylum seekers at this time, we know the Red Cross symbol on the side of our building is a universally recognized sign of hope around the globe. We are grateful to the City of New York and to the many partners who will provide assistance via this center.”
The center — located in the American Red Cross of Greater New York headquarters — will open weekdays to provide individuals and families with in-person support, in Spanish and in other languages, as well as information on resources and services available. New York City government agencies and community-based organizations will be on-site to help with case management and connect families and individuals to critical services, including:
- Health care services directly and through referral,
- Health insurance enrollment,
- Mental health counseling,
- School enrollment, and
- Immigration legal services, among other services.
Services will be available to visitors by appointment. Community-based organizations and city shelter caseworkers will schedule appointments for asylum seekers. The city will provide asylum seekers with information about the Resource Navigation Center as they arrive by bus, as well as in shelters and through community-based organizations. the following weeks, the city will release information about citywide satellite sites where asylum seekers can access the similar or additional services throughout the five boroughs.
Since this spring, the city has experienced a surge in people seeking asylum arriving from border states. Many have entered the city’s shelter system, while others have found housing through family members, friends, or sponsors. Additionally, community groups have helped reticket individuals to their final destinations outside of New York City. The city estimates that more than 11,600 asylum seekers have gone through the intake process in the last few months and more than 8,500 asylum seekers, mostly families with children, are currently in the city’s shelter system.
Services at the Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center are free, completely confidential, and provided by trusted professional contractors and city agencies required by law to keep information confidential. To protect client confidentiality, members of the media will not be allowed to enter the facility.