Buffalo is, once again, taking care of its refugees. New York State Assemblymembers Sean Ryan and Crystal People-Stokes have announced significant funding for four different organizations that provide a variety of services for local refugee families. In total, $2 million is being allocated to the following agencies:
- Catholic Charities of Buffalo: $257,855
- Journey’s End Refugee Services: $207,450
- International Institute of Buffalo: $121,109
- Jewish Family Services of Buffalo and Erie County: $95,566
This funding comes into play as The Trump Administration Executive Order (120-day ban on refugees entering the United States) is in full effect. The allocated funds will help to ensure that these service providers are properly funded, so that they can continue to help Buffalo’s refugee communities to carry on with their day to day tasks.
It’s important to remember that this is a two-way street. Yes, Buffalo is offering help to the refugees, so that they may live peacefully and happily in the US, despite the hardships of being so far from their homelands. At the same time, according to Ryan and Stokes, these same refugees are helping us to “boost population in upstate cities, occupy previously vacant housing, and strengthen neighborhoods.”
“The vital programs provided by refugee resettlement agencies assist individuals as they make the transition to life in a new country far from the tragic circumstances they bravely left behind,” said Ryan. “I am proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with my Assembly colleagues who represent Upstate communities, and refugee resettlement agencies, as we fought for this critically important funding. I am excited to announce these funding allocations today from the $2 million dollars we secured to ensure refugees continue to receive vital services here in Erie County, and across New York State. This was a major team effort, and I am thankful that our state budget invests in the continued economic revival of Buffalo and Western New York.”
Lead image: Journey’s End’s Green Shoots for New Americans (Refugee Agricultural Program). Farmers are now growing flowers using the Tri-Main Center’s parking lot rain gardens! People can buy the cut flowers (zinnias, sunflowers, and snapdragons) from 1:30-6pm every Thursday in the Tri-Main lobby.
“I’d like to congratulate all of the immigration and refugee-focused agencies receiving funding,” said Peoples-Stokes. “Thank you for your continued efforts to make the City of Buffalo a bigger and better place; as many of you serve as the first point of contact for our new residents, thank you for displaying what the City of Good Neighbors is all about. In today’s climate, these funds are truly a testament to the work you all do every day. I would also like to thank Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the WNY State Delegation for helping to make these resources available.”
“It cannot be overstated how much we thank New York State for recognizing the value refugees bring to our community,” added Karen Andolina Scott, Executive Director of Journey’s End Refugee Services. This funding will help ensure Journey’s End Refugee Services can continue to provide necessary services, including immigration legal services, which help our clients achieve financial stability. We have been very fortunate to serve our community for over 30 years and look forward to assisting our clients in becoming independent, contributing members of the WNY community in years to come.”