Helping Those Seeking Asylum

By: 
Mary LoSardo

New Jersey has four correctional institutions which hold many individuals who were forced to flee persecution in their home countries due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. In response to this crisis, our sister Episcopal Parish, the Church of the Incarnation in Jersey City, NJ, has entered into a partnership with First Friends of NY and NJ. The result of this partnership is the Lighthouse for Aslyees.

With a mission to “uphold the inherent dignity and humanity of detained immigrants and asylum seekers [by providing] compassion and hope through volunteer visitation, resettlement assistance and advocacy,” the Lighthouse will house six guests at a time upon their release from one of the four correctional facilities. It will provide temporary housing for post-release individuals who will have spent upwards of six months to a year languishing in detention, even though they have never committed a crime.

The Lighthouse is housed in the Parish House at The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, 68 Storms Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. While it has received many donations of furniture and household items, and much of the work to date has been completed by volunteers, it also faces some unexpected plumbing, heating and building repairs before opening its doors.  In addition to providing a safe haven and a community for itsguests, the Lighthouse volinteers hope to provide additional resettlement support as needed. Examples include food, transportation, telephone, toiletries, language tutoring, legal aid, and financial support for getting established in their own apartments. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to The Lighthouse today. The more money raised, the more support can be provided. Your generosity will transform lives and provide hope and services to these guests as they establish themselves in their new country.

To make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit the Lighthouse's GoFundMe page.