Masbia Relief On CBS New York: New York City nonprofits stepping up to help asylum seekers find jobsPosted on: November 13, 2022
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New efforts are underway to assist migrants coming to New York City, and that includes helping them find jobs.
There were many rounds of applause for more than two dozen asylum seekers at the nonprofit La Colmena on Staten Island on Sunday.
They can receive work permits 180 days after filing asylum applications, but while waiting, the group took a 40-hour course required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, for anyone working in construction.
A migrant named Giovanni arrived with his wife and 2-year-old from Venezuela in October. He said he worked in construction there and talked about completing the course through a translator.
“It required much attention, but he’s very grateful to have finished it. He said, ‘I’m ready. I’m just ready to contribute,'” the translator said.
Thirty people completed the program, and for all of them, this is one of the first opportunities for them to go out and find work.
The Masbia relief team, with funding from real estate investor Leon Goldenberg, donated new, OSHA-approved steel-toe work boots.
“I’m also a child of Holocaust survivors. My parents came to America in 1949 and they struggled the same way that these people are struggling,” Goldenberg said.
“People don’t know how difficult it is for them to get the equipment that they need as well, and we’re just so grateful,” said Yesenia Mata, executive director of La Colmena.
This week, the city is opening its fourth humanitarian emergency response and relief center at the Watson Hotel on West 57th Street for single male adults. Six hundred rooms are available at the hotel, where the city is also offering food, medical care and helping people get to their desired destination.
The city will demobilize tents that were set up on Randall’s Island in October and transport any asylum seekers that were staying there.
Masbia stands ready to help across all five boroughs.
“We also have now about $50,000 worth of children’s clothing and coats that we’re giving out at different venues,” Masbia Relief executive director Alexander Rapaport said.
He says it’s all about treating people with dignity, no matter where they come from.
The New York City independent budget office is estimating the city will spend nearly $600 million over a year to provide shelter, education and other costs.
To help Asylum Seekers click here.