September 26, 2022

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Nonprofit group says clothing, food, shoes running out for NYC asylum seekers

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manahttan (WABC) — Essential supplies, like clothing, shoes and food, are running out for asylum seekers in New York City, according to volunteers with a nonprofit who spoke with Eyewitness News.

Those with Artists, Athletes and Activists, based on the Lower East Side, said they are nearly out of everything for migrants.

“We need more help,” Power Malu, the head of the group, said.

Camille Napoleon, a volunteer with the group, said they didn’t have shoes or food to give to the migrants when they arrived Thursday at the Port Authority bus terminal.

“It’s hard to tell someone who has already trekked starvation for months to tell them I don’t have something for you,” she said.

Malu said the group had been paying for migrants’ transportation to other states so they could reunite with their family members. He said they’ve helped asylum seekers travel to Ohio and Boston, for example. The city has said it’s relying on community partners to cover the cost of transporting migrants to other places.

“Unfortunately, that money has run out,” Malu said.

Malu said his group has also been helping migrants who are arriving at New York City airports. He said typically they are coming from Chicago via Texas. The city has not confirmed that migrants have been coming into New York City by plane.

Napoleon said it hasn’t been uncommon for volunteers to get phone calls from migrants at 2 or 3 in the morning saying they can’t get a bed at a shelter.

“We have to pick them up, make sure they’re not sleeping on the street,” she said.

Volunteer Lilah Mejia said she’s hopeful New Yorkers will donate money or supplies to their group, so they can continue to help the migrants.

“We’re low on money, we’re low on clothing,” she said. “So, we’re asking New York City – the richest city in the world – to help us.”

At last count, 11,600 migrants have been processed in New York City shelters and 8,500 of them remain there.

The city said seven more buses were expected to arrive Friday.

Click here if you would like to donate to Artists, Athletes and Activists.

You can also drop off supplies at their office located at 110 Columbia Street on the Lower East Side. New underwear and socks are the most needed, as well as shoes, which can be used.

ALSO READ | Tracing the steps of asylum seekers as they settle in New York City

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