ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A local nonprofit has seen an outpouring of donations for asylum seekers relocating to the Rochester area.
Ibero American Action League also has a continued call on the community for their support.
In mid-August, Ibero launched a donation drive at its resource center on Clifford Avenue. From there, organizers began collecting thousands of donations for those in need who are now calling Rochester home.
The nonprofit is working with around 50 families to help meet their needs.
“We allow the families to come in once or twice a week. They’re coming in from New York City, and most likely, they are coming in with nothing. Sometimes, we’ve had families that just come with the clothes on their back,” said Daisy Ruiz Marin, director of migrant services for Ibero American Action League.
For Ruiz Marin, helping these families hits close to home.
“I’m a very proud daughter of immigrants. Both my parents immigrated to the U.S. in the late 70s and late 80s,” said Ruiz Marin, “I think they can relate a little bit more to me because they know I have that background experience that my own family went through this years ago. So, I think they can identify and they’ll feel more comfortable expressing their needs or telling their story.”
With help from the state, Ibero is also working to help transition asylum seekers from the Holiday Inn on State Street into more permanent apartment housing.
Earlier this week, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced 18,000 asylum seekers across the state would be authorized to work. Local groups are assisting with job placements.
Meantime, Ibero still welcomes donations. Currently, they are specifically asking for winter clothing and home goods.
“We want to make sure the items we’re receiving are in good condition, washed and folded, and ready to be provided to the families. We’re very, very fortunate the community has had such a great reaction to the work we’re doing,” said Ruiz Marin.
Ibero has an Amazon Wishlist available online with items still needed. The nonprofit plans to continue collecting donations as it remains open over the next few months.