April 27, 2022 – Earlier this month, staff received a call from First Friends, a local non-profit that works with Immigrants, asylum seekers and their families in the New Jersey area whose lives have been impacted by the U.S. immigration and enforcement system. A family of four from Colombia had crossed the border to seek asylum because their lives were threatened and they struggled since arriving. Their housing situation was desperate, and fortunately Catholic Charities had a vacancy at Mother Teresa House, our transitional housing program for immigrants and refugees.
We moved quickly to prepare our temporary housing to welcome this family. We hope to provide a respite for them, at the least a safe, warm, clean place for them to lay their heads and regroup while they consider longterm living options.
We are blessed to be working with local church volunteers who patched up a leaky roof, cleaned the rooms, mopped the floors, made the beds, even did some grocery shopping for the family. The next step is to register the kids for school. The family were very grateful when they saw the space. The children have bikes they can ride and outdoor space, including a lovely garden where they can help to grow vegetables and herbs.
We were also able to connect this new family with another family from Colombia who lived at Mother Teresa House last year. They were able to share about their experience, and even took them to the supermarket and showed them what bus to take to get there. The father said he is very glad to have a safe, quite place for his family to live while they are getting their feet on the ground.