Here’s how to help asylum seekers in NYC

October 19, 2022

Photo of the humanitarian emergency response and relief center for asylum seekers on Randall’s Island courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

New York City is currently experiencing a migrant crisis, with thousands of asylum seekers arriving in the city to take refuge from danger and lack of opportunity in their home countries. On Wednesday, the city opened its first outdoor shelter for asylum seekers on Randall’s Island, seen as a temporary rest stop before they reach their next destination. In addition to shelter, newly arrived migrants are in need of basic necessities and clothing, especially winter coats and warmer apparel. Ahead, find organizations and community centers across the city accepting donations for asylum seekers.

Photo of the humanitarian emergency response and relief center for asylum seekers on Randall’s Island courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

At least 18,600 asylum seekers have arrived in NYC since the spring, as 6sqft previously reported. The city’s shelter system is also experiencing an overload, with its population reaching more than 61,000 last week. It’s expected to hit 100,000 if nothing is done. Mayor Eric Adams on October 7 declared a state of emergency due to the surge in migrants.

Both the city and local organizations are working diligently to accommodate migrants who have arrived in the city, offering them shelter, food, clothing, and other required resources.

Most needed items include new fall and winter clothing, like sweaters, coats, and socks, and new toiletries and hygiene items, including body wash, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and menstrual products.

Here is a list of current drop-off locations:

New Life Church
2757 Morris Avenue
Phone: 718-562-2230 (Call before dropping off)

Iglesias Jovenes Cristianos
8700 18th Avenue
Phone: 718-795-5645
Hours: Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Bridge
1894 Flatbush Avenue
Phone: 917-804-3942
Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The museum along with Guadalupe Maravilla and P·P·O·W gallery is accepting donations, like phones, laptops, new hygiene products, clean clothing and shoes, pre-paid subway passes, backpacks, and more. A donation bin can be found in the museum lobby; donations will be accepted through October 30.

Office of Sen. Andrew Gounardes
8018 5th Avenue
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Gounardes’ office says they are accepting “Metro cards, new socks and undergarments, and other basic necessities.”

Office of Council Member Justian Brannan
8203 3rd Avenue 
Brannan’s office is accepting donations on behalf of the Bay Ridge Sanctuary Project hosted by the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.

Mission Church John 3:16
518 West 168th Street
Phone: 914-3190-8948
Hours: Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Office of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine
431 West 125th Street
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1 Centre Street, 19th floor
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

El Museo del Barrio
1230 5th Avenue

Hours: Thursdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October 22
New York’s leading Latino cultural institution, has partnered with the East Harlem Community Partnership to host a clothing drive that is running until October 22. Accepted items include new and gently worn clothing, including shirts, pants, dresses, pajamas, etc.

Catholic Charities of New York
Catholic Charities created a wishlist on Amazon that includes essential items for asylum seekers like shoes, socks, underwear, baby items, and children’s clothing. Help the organization check off more items from its list by ordering items here.

Salvation Army Jamaica Community Center

90-23 161st Street
Phone: 914-217-3277
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Office of Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas
75-35 31sst Avenue, Suite 206B
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through November 7

Staten Island
The Central Family Life Center
59 Wright Street
Phone: 718-273-8414

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is directing cash donations to United Way, which is serving as the designated relief organization. Monetary donations can be made here.

The Office of Faith & Community Partnerships at the Mayor’s Office has put together a donation drive for asylum seekers, with drop-off locations in all five boroughs. Learn more here.

Additional community resources can be found here.


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