New York State collaboration assists recently arrived immigrant children

blogimage_NYSimmigrantDuring the summer of 2014, the United States saw record numbers of unaccompanied minors fleeing war and violence from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. That year, New York State received the second-highest number of children of any state in the country after Texas. Many of these children have resettled in Long Island, with Nassau and Suffolk Counties receiving the highest number of children in the state. Service providers in these counties have experienced a rapid influx of children in need of services and are finding ways to appropriately coordinate support and increase capacity to comprehensively assist children and their families in the communities where they reside.

The New York State Office for New Americans, the New York Immigration Coalition, and about a dozen philanthropies and community based organizations have developed a cross-sector collaboration to increase the availability of much needed services for recently arrived Central American children. Funders, collaborating through the Long Island Children’s Fund, will combine resources and work with service providers to collectively develop strategies to serve these children. They have pooled $500,000 to support legal, mental health, and educational services, including $49,000 from the New York State Office for New Americans. New York Immigration Coalition and Equal Justice Works leveraged additional funds from the “justice Americorps” and Equal Justice Works programs.

Not-for-profit service providers involved in the partnership include the Central American Refugee Center, the Touro Law CenterCatholic Charities of Rockville Centre, the Safe Passage Project, the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, coordinated by the New York Immigration Coalition. The grant-making institutions involved include the Hagedorn Foundation, the Long Island Community Foundation, and the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund. The rapid coordination and deployment of public and private funds to assist this vulnerable population demonstrates the strong commitment the State of New York and its communities have to ensuring  the traumas of these populations are dealt with appropriately.

“The State of New York has a long history of welcoming people from all around the world and it is our moral and civic responsibility to help defenseless children and their families during difficult times,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales.