Posts Tagged ‘legal advice’

Children Fleeing Violence Reach New York

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

“Immigration service providers and the city are working closely to streamline resources for the 3,200 child migrants who have reunited with family in New York,” reports Amelia Pang in Epoch Times. “But for the additional 10,000 who are expected to arrive in New York by the end of the year, it is unclear how such services will be funded for them. And for many, mental health care is a top priority.”

New York City service providers and government officials met last week to discuss the coordinated strategy they are undertaking, as part of the New York State Unaccompanied Minors Working Group.

“The working group brings together experts in immigration, legal advice, education, social services, medical and mental health services,” reports Rebecca S. Myles in the Latin Post.

According to organizers, more than half the children are coming to New York to reunite with a mother or father, and more than two-thirds are fleeing some kind of violence or threatening situation in their homeland. Fifty percent of the girls have suffered some kind of psychological trauma or abuse, and they are especially vulnerable.

 We need more resources to fund this,” said Steven Choi, executive director of New York Immigration Coalition (of which Catholic Charities is a member) tells Ms. Pang of Epoch Times.

The most important services the migrant children will need are attorneys and mental health care, and both are costly.

According to a United Nations report, 60 percent of child migrants are eligible for relief. The children, however, are not likely to receive relief if they do not have an attorney.

“Catholic Charities has a longstanding, comprehensive knowledge of the humanitarian plight faced by immigrants, including unaccompanied children, and we are looking forward to creating a coordinated response to this new call for help,” said  Mario C. Russell, Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services for Catholic Charities.

“Every week in residences for unaccompanied children in the New York area, our lawyers meet with and give preliminary legal assistance to dozens of immigrant children, over 2,000 in this year alone. This gives us first-hand knowledge of the trauma these young people have experienced, trauma that we have begun to attend to through our Safe Passages program and through Terra Firma, an innovative medical-legal partnership designed to meet the complex medical, psycho-social, and legal needs of unaccompanied minors.”

Read more in the Latin Post.

Find out more in the Epoch Times.

North Bronx Social Service Agency is More Than Just

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

By Ben Ros

One Bronx nonprofit, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity, continues to make the news. Here it is, in case you missed it on PBS’s Metrofocus.

Part of the Solution (POTS) opened in 1982 as a standard soup kitchen but has since expanded their scope of services to provide not only food through their restaurant-style community dining room and food pantry, but increasingly, everything the homeless or working poor need. Their services range from case management and legal advice to hot showers, haircuts, clothing, and a mailing address.

The diversity of services offered stems from a holistic philosophy that is central to the community values that POTS fosters. For those starting from zero, some of these basic services make all the difference. The simple chance to sit down in the barber’s chair and tell your story, or be recognized by your postman can inspire the courage and confidence it takes to work through hard times.

POTS’s true value to those it serves is being a safe, judgment-free space to fulfill one’s basic needs while respecting individuals’ dignity. “Personal dignity is really the one quality that I think people need to take each next progressive step in their life,” said Chris Bean, Executive Director of POTS, a sentiment that parallels one of the central doctrines of the catechism.

To learn more about POTS and how you can help, visit potsbronx.org.

Do you have immigration questions? We have answers.

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Get answers—in your language—by calling Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline: 212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (toll-free in NYS).

Catholic Charities operates the New York State New Americans Hotline, a statewide information and referral hotline that gives general information and referrals to appropriate service agencies in response to immigration and citizenship-related questions.

Hotline operators speak English, Spanish, French, Romanian, Polish, Albanian, Japanese, and Arabic. The New Americans Hotline provides an expanded menu of language options, previously not available, via a language service line, as well.

The NYS New Americans Hotline does not provide legal advice. Questions on individual eligibility are referred to legal services agencies for immigration consultations.