June 16, 2022
NEW YORK— The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Manuel Castro today launched New York City’s Ukrainian Response Initiative and announced the non-profit organizations that will be contracted to help currently residing and newly arrived Ukrainian New Yorkers access immigration legal assistance, translation services, social services, and other resources.
“As a city of immigrants, New York City is home to the largest Ukrainian population in America, and that is why we stand ready, with open arms, to provide all the support we can to Ukrainian New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “These non-profit organizations will ensure critical resources are available to both currently residing and newly arrived Ukrainians, and we are eager to help.”
“As Ukraine experiences an ongoing war there is increasing urgency to provide support where possible to our growing New York City Ukrainian community,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “I am proud to stand with MOIA in their continued efforts to ensure services, including legal support, are available to those in need and welcome all new neighbors to our city with open arms.”
“From accessing immigration legal services to connecting families to health services and school enrollment, we will continue to respond to the immediate needs of New York City’s Ukrainian community,” said Manuel Castro, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). “As more Ukrainians continue to arrive, we look to achieve this critical work by working hand in hand with community groups that have a demonstrated ability to connect immigrants and refugees to legal resources and city services in a culturally and linguistically responsive way.”
“I know firsthand the pain of having to leave your home as a refugee and I applaud Mayor Eric Adams’ commitment to supporting the Ukrainian community in New York City and those people who will arrive in our City due to the continued hardships they face as a result of this unjust war, said Edward Mermelstein, Commissioner, NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs. “My office ensures New Yorkers, including foreign-born nationals, have access to New York City services and resources through strong collaborations with sister agencies and Consulates. I look forward to working closely with members of the Adams Administration, including Commissioner Castro, the representatives of non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure these services and resources reach all the people that need them."
Initially announced in April 2022, the Ukrainian Response Initiative will include community outreach, immigration legal assistance, comprehensive case management, direct emergency cash assistance, language access, benefits navigation, and community-based organization capacity building.
Legal services will include but are not limited to comprehensive immigration legal screenings, and application assistance for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
Services provided directly or by referral will include but are not limited to health care, health insurance enrollment/NYC Care, mental health services, housing support, IDNYC, non-immigration legal services, school enrollment and education system navigation, English language education, workforce support services, and food security assistance.
Information and services will be provided both in person and remotely through a variety of formats including resource fairs and legal clinics at trusted sites citywide, and individual consultations at community-based organizations. Information on how to access services provided through this initiative can be found on nyc.gov/ukraineresources or by calling NYC’s immigration hotline at 800-354-0365.
The non-profits contracted to achieve this work represent a combination of citywide service providers and community-based organizations rooted in Ukrainian and immigrant neighborhoods:
MOIA in partnership with the Research Foundation of the City University of New York and the Department of Social Services will be actively involved in the initiative by listening and responding to the needs of Ukrainians resettling in New York City and the organizations supporting them.
For more information, visit nyc.gov/ukraineresources or call NYC’s immigration hotline at 800-354-0365.
“We stand every-ready to honor NYC’s legacy as a safe haven for disenfranchised and marginalized communities, including refugees and immigrants in need,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “MOIA’s Ukrainian Response Initiative exemplifies this City’s commitment to upholding the fundamental values of American democracy and always leading with compassion. As we welcome these newly arrived Ukrainians to our diverse community, our agency is proud to partner with MOIA and support this initiative in every which way we can.”
“The University couldn’t be prouder to partner with MOIA and DSS on the Ukrainian Response Initiative,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “The impact of the crisis in Ukraine is palpable for many in New York, which is home to the largest Ukrainian community in the nation. This effort manifests CUNY’s unique mission to welcome and educate immigrants from all over the globe and aligns with New York City’s historic role as a place of refuge and renewal.”
“With this initiative, I am confident we can address the critical needs of newly arrived Ukrainians and help to mitigate the impact being felt in our city from the horrific invasion of Ukraine. I applaud Mayor Eric Adams, Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom, Commissioner Manuel Castro, and the non-profit partner organizations for working to make this possible,” said NYC Care Executive Director Jonathan Jiménez, MD, MPH. “By providing culturally responsive care across a number of service areas, including healthcare access through NYC Care, the Ukrainian Response Initiative will set the model for how cities can support and uplift new arrivals. Health care is a human right; that means that from the first day newly arrived Ukrainians are in our city, they are eligible for NYC Care.”
"The NYIC is proud to be a partner in The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs '(MOIA) Ukrainian Response Initiative. Thousands of Ukrainian families have fled their war-torn country in search of safety here, in New York City, and around the country, but are in need of friendship and support to successfully integrate into their new communities. By working with community groups like ours, Ukrainian families can expect language and cultural competency, as well as trusted partners to ensure these families are able to access the services and programs they need to build a home and thrive in New York City. We thank Mayor Adams and Commissioner Castro for working to ensure the well-being of all newcomer families in New York City," said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of New York Immigration Coalition.
“We are incredibly grateful to Mayor Adams and the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, Commissioner Castro, who invited Razom to City Hall when the news about the grant was announced. We applaud their leadership for launching this important initiative to help displaced Ukrainians and for their generous grant to Razom for Ukraine,” said Mariia Khorun, Esq. Razom's NYC Ukrainian Response Initiative (NYCURI) Co-Lead. “This Initiative will allow for a coordinated system to seamlessly refer thousands of displaced Ukrainians, who are especially vulnerable, to legal clinics and resource workshops so they can receive immigration aid, assistance with navigating available benefits, job opportunities, and more, to provide them with a chance to rebuild their lives in this country. Razom is a hands-on partner that has already worked with displaced Ukrainian families before this grant. Because of this funding, we will now be able to improve our operation to assist even more Ukrainians who are fleeing this brutal and unjust war. As an organization focused on amplifying the voices of Ukrainians, we are greatly encouraged by this initiative as it reaffirms New York City’s unwavering support and love for Ukraine.”
"Like all immigrant communities, Ukrainian nationals in New York City are seeking safety for themselves and their families, and should be welcomed and supported with compassionate, culturally- and linguistically appropriate services to help them thrive. The Ukrainian Response Initiative will enable NYLAG and our fellow service providers to harness our deep connections to New York's Ukrainian community to support those resettling in understanding their rights, navigating the immigration services available to them, obtaining employment and identity documents, and connecting with support services,” said Jodi Ziesemer, Director of the Immigrant Protection Unit at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG). “We thank Commissioner Castro and the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs for strengthening New York City's support for immigrants and for helping our city live up to its name as a place that welcomes and supports all."
“As the tragic conflict in Ukraine continues to unfold, Catholic Charities has welcomed and supported refugees and local Ukrainian communities with direct assistance over the past months. With a long history of helping refugees, Catholic Charities stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. We are especially pleased to join with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and New York City in this coordinated response to provide direct assistance and case management support to those seeking protection and temporary refuge here. This important city-wide initiative, which joins experienced partners in the effort, is evidence once again of New York’s unique leadership in welcoming newcomers to our nation,” said Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, New York.
"The Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach, Inc. is tremendously thankful to be a member of MOIA’s Ukrainian Response Initiative. Since the 1970s, the Brighton Beach neighborhood which is home to our organization has been home to immigrants and refugees from this part of the world. Many Ukrainian families escaping the war initiated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 2/24/22 have come to our south Brooklyn neighborhoods seeking assistance from the Shorefront YM-YWHA,” said Susan Fox, Executive Director of Shorefront YM-YWHA. “We are incredibly appreciative of the financial resources to underpin the critical expenses the organization has and will continue to need so that we can effectively assist Ukrainians of all ages who have and will continue to arrive at our doors. We are also honored to be a partner in a strong collaborative initiative created by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, in partnership with the NYIC and our colleagues in this Ukrainian Response Initiative with whom we will work closely with, as it is our shared goal to help arriving Ukrainian families safely and soundly receive the core assistance, they need to get themselves established here in NYC."
“CAMBA is honored to be a part of the Ukrainian Response Initiative,” said CAMBA President & CEO Joanne M. Oplustil. “This funding will help CAMBA provide Ukrainian immigrants and refugees new to New York City with vital support and services including direct cash assistance, immigration legal services, English language and vocational skills training, professional recertification training, and connections to jobs. With 45 years of welcoming and helping all those seeking the opportunity to thrive, CAMBA is proud to continue growing alongside the communities we serve.”
"Greenberg Traurig is immensely proud to be in a position to tap into its strong immigration practice and assist the Ukrainian Response Initiative, providing comprehensive pro bono immigration legal services to Ukrainian refugees in the United States," said Caroline Heller, Chair of the Greenberg Traurig Global Pro Bono Program. "Through trainings, donations, and direct legal assistance our firm continues to mobilize our global platform to help immigrants in the United States who have been externally displaced navigate what can often be a complex and cumbersome immigration process."