Vive Shelter on Wyoming Avenue has received a $250,000 grant award from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, for refugees who are seeking asylum in Canada and the US.
While Vive has been around for 35 years, it was only recently acquired by Jericho Road in 2015. Since that time, the asylum’s directive has partially shifted from concentrating on getting refugees across the border to Canada, with short term accommodations in Buffalo, to creating long-term living scenarios in the US.
“Vive was not built with the expectation of housing long-term residents,” explains Dr. Anna Ireland Mongo, chief program officer for Jericho Road. “As we are receiving more and more people who wish to claim U.S. asylum and stay in Buffalo, we are having to adjust our staffing patterns, our building usage, and our internal procedures. All of this puts a strain on our limited resources and we are incredibly grateful that the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is providing operational support to help us meet these new, emerging needs.”
Jericho Road Community Health Center’s Vive Shelter is the largest asylee shelter in the US. Since 1984, it has served over 100,000 asylum seekers from over 100 countries.
This past summer, about 100 asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo made their way to Buffalo, followed by additional Congolese and Angolan families. That influx of refugees equates to 160 people being housed at Vive, which is capacity.
This latest grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, aligns with the foundation’s mission to bolster the health and wellbeing of vulnerable New Yorkers, no matter their circumstances.
“Mother Cabrini was drawn to people and communities who faced the greatest struggles, and in our first round of grants we were committed to that same mission,” explains Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, Chief Executive of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.”
Lead image courtesy Jericho Road