By Ed Hersh
As the city struggles to cope with the influx of asylum-seeking migrants, many of whom were bussed in without warning from southern border states, neighborhood religious institutions and political leaders have stepped up to help those who are being housed temporarily on or near the Upper West Side.
While Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal’s collection efforts have ended for now, Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell, — who represents the district north of Rosenthal’s, including Morningside Heights and Manhattan Valley — has partnered with Pastor Heidi Neumark of Trinity Lutheran Church on West 100th Street to collect and distribute clothes, toiletries, school supplies, baby items, shoes, blankets, and other necessities.
“The volume of donations we have received to help asylum seekers is stunning – and they keep coming,” O’Donnell told us in an email. “So many friends and neighbors have called my office or stopped me in the street to ask how they can help. Thank you to all those who have been able to donate,” he said.
O’Donnell’s community liaison Mirian Hernandez said the asylum seekers arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs — and usually nothing warm to wear. “So far, we have received a generous amount of adult shoes, school supplies, toiletries, winter clothing for adults, and women’s wear. We greatly encourage anyone with men’s, children’s, and baby’s wear to donate. We would also appreciate more menstrual products, undergarments for all ages, and child and baby supplies,“ she said.
To donate, stop by Trinity Lutheran Church (164 West 100th Street, near Amsterdam) on two Saturdays, Nov. 5th and 12th, from 12pm-5pm; or Wednesday, Nov 9th from 5pm-9pm.
Hernandez said the office has also heard from community members interested in finding other ways to help. “If anyone would like to volunteer, please reach out to Hernandezm@nyassembly.gov, “ she said.
“I’m in awe — and deeply appreciative — of the depth of generosity in our neighborhood,” O’Donnell wrote. “I am proud to represent a community that steps up and helps those in need.”
Migrants Living in Asylum Limbo in Park West Hotel Share Their Stories here.