Photo: EPA / ANGEL COLMENARES / EFE
Recently, and in the aftermath of catastrophic storm Ida, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a $ 27 million fund to help the New York community that cannot receive assistance from FEMA because they do not have legal residency or citizenship in the United States. So far, the Office for New Americans (ONA), the agency in charge of coordinating these efforts, has received a large number of calls and requests, but we are reminding the community that they can still apply for funds to help them make up for losses. who suffered from Storm Ida.
We know that Ida left behind much destruction of homes, claimed the lives of several people, and razed places that offered jobs to our immigrant community. Immediately, Governor Hochul offered help to the affected immigrants, most of whom have no other alternatives to recover losses and that is how she proposed the fund that is being distributed through organizations that work closely with ONA.
So far, more than 1,100 people have contacted ONA and the organizations that are in charge of registering, documenting and distributing these funds. It has been a very practical process and we have worked closely with the requesting public to offer help quickly and safely. In addition to state funds, many of the applicants have been guided to receive federal funds because they qualify for FEMA assistance. It has been a successful process for those who have applied for and qualify for either state or federal aid.
If you are a person who may qualify for this help, you can contact the ONA Helpline at 1-800-566-7636 from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday through Friday. You can also go to community organizations that are part of this program. ONA’s helpline offers assistance in more than 200 languages.
The organizations that are working with ONA are:
- Catholic Charities, 402 East 152nd Street, Bronx 10455
- Chinese American Planning Council, 4101 8th Ave, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11232
- MinKwon, 133-29 41st Avenue, Suite 202, Flushing, NY 11355
- Se Hace Camino or Make the Road, 92-10 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
- Se Hace Camino or Make the Road, Staten Island, 161 Port Richmond Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302
- Economic Opportunity Commission, Nassau, Long Island, 134 Jackson Street, Hempstead, NY 11550
- Se Hace Camino o Make the Road in Suffolk, 1090 Suffolk Ave, Brentwood, NY 11717
- Neighbors Link in Westchester and Rockland, 27 Columbus Avenue, Mount Kisco, NY 10549
These organizations will guide you so that you apply for help regardless of your immigration status. Once contacted, these organizations will help you complete your application and submit it to receive the funds. All the information you provide is confidential and secure. Remember, this is a new program that has not been done before and so we want to encourage you to call or go to any of the above organizations near you and ask for help.
New York is better because of the efforts of the immigrant community that, for generations, has made this state and the city a vibrant and progressive society. Governor Hochul knows that new Americans are coming to build a better future for our state, and they do so with great effort and hard work. That is why these funds are available to immigrants in need.
Rossana Rosado is the Secretary of State for New York