Nonprofits critical to web of support for asylum seekers
When communities need solutions, nonprofits step up, as is so clearly illustrated by the many nonprofit organizations providing timely, vital services in response to the recent influx of asylum seekers to the Portland area. Side by side with the city’s response efforts, nonprofit staff and volunteers are working tirelessly–often with no additional funding–to offer care, connections, and community. Among others:
- United Way of Greater Portland have been coordinating volunteers (find a sign up sheet here) along with Maine Immigrants Rights Coalition, which is also helping organizing other local immigrants to cook familiar food at the shelter.
- The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) and Maine Access Immigrant Network are providing legal support. (ILAP is in need of volunteer attorneys with experience in immigration law as well as interpreters who speak Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, French, and Lingala.)
- Congolese Community Association of Maine has been creating bridges between new arrivals, the community, and the city.
- ProsperityME is providing translation and guidance.
- Greater Portland Health is providing healthcare services on-site at the Expo and connecting people to primary care services at their 180 Park Ave. location.
- Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine has been gathering diapers and formulas to send to arriving families.
- Preble Street and Wayside Food Programs are providing meals for families at the Expo Center. (They need volunteers to assist with food preparation for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.)
- Pihcintu, The Children’s Museum of Maine and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine are organizing activities to welcome and connect families.
- Maine Initiatives is raising money to support front-line immigrant-led organizations.
- Furniture Friends is providing essential household furniture to anyone moving into permanent housing.
As we work to amplify the efforts of nonprofits during this time of acute need and response, we will continue to update this post. Please reach out to Sarah Woodard to add organizations to this list!