Louis distributes winter coats to asylum seekers in East Flatbush

Council Member Farah Louis addresses the media after distributing winter coats to asylum seekers in East Flatbush.
Council Member Farah Louis addresses the media after distributing winter coats to asylum seekers in East Flatbush.
Daniel Heredia

Brooklyn Council Member Farah Louis on Nov. 4 joined with The Multicultural Bridge Project and local volunteers to distribute winter coats, warm clothes and hygiene products to asylum seekers staying at the Highland Park Shelter in East Flatbush.
The Humanitarian Coat and Clothing Distribution was organized in partnership with State Sen. Roxanne Persaud, the Guyanese-born representative for the 19th Senate District in Brooklyn. and New York City Department of Social Services (DSS).
Louis, the daughter of Haitian and Bahamian immigrants, who represents the 45th Assembly District in Brooklyn, noted that New York City is currently experiencing “a massive influx of asylum seekers, as Republican Governors and local leaders from across the country have engaged in a months-long bussing campaign, sending migrants from border states to NYC.”
Louis said District 45, which contains parts of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands, and Kensington, has received “the largest share of these asylum seekers,” currently housing over 1,300 men, women, and children in local shelters.
“Many of these individuals arrive with only the clothes on their backs, lacking winter coats, warm clothes, and other essentials,” she said.
Louis said local officials have been working closely with nonprofit and faith-based organizations to address these needs but say that federal aid is “desperately needed.”
“I am proud to stand in solidarity with members of my community to support asylees — our new New Yorkers that now reside in Council District 45,” she said. “As a proud daughter of immigrants, I understand how challenging it can be to navigate life in a new country, an unknown place, with no resources but the clothes on your back and your will to fight for a better life for yourself and your children.
“As New Yorkers, we have a moral obligation to support asylum seekers, especially the innocent children who have dealt with the anxiety and trauma of fleeing their homes and making such a difficult journey,” Louis added. “Our goal today, working with the Department of Social Services and local nonprofit organizations, is to make this transition as smooth and stress-free as it can be for these asylees and their children.
“But we’re also well aware that we cannot tackle this crisis through charity alone,” she continued. “That’s why I’m calling on the Biden administration to allocate federal funds toward humanitarian aid for asylees here in New York.”
“In every generation, we’re faced with a challenge,” said Mark Appel, founder and executive director of The Multicultural Bridge Project. “The challenge of today’s generation that God put before us is to take care of thousands of refugees.
“As they come to New York, there’s one thing that is definitely important: You have tens of thousands of people coming to New York with many children, many infants. They have to be clothed. They have to be fed. They need supplies as winter is approaching,” he added. “So, it’s our mission and our goal, and God has given us that opportunity, to get the community together—the multicultural community, the Muslim community, the Jewish community, the Afro-American community, all the communities together — in this historic effort to bring in whatever they need.”
“On behalf of the Rabbinical Alliance, it is a privilege to be here today to be involved in this noble mission of providing refugees with clothing and supplies. I think one of the most essential parts of this mission that we feel very grateful and blessed to participate in is to help the children of the new New Yorkers,” said Rabbi Shlomo Segal, member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America and Founder of Kehilat Moshe.
“We have to remember that in all that we do, we are our brother’s keepers,” said Sandy Miller, a Persaud staffer. “So, when people come into our city, we have to treat them like family, and that is exactly what the Council Member is doing.
“This is a gargantuan event, and I want to thank all the community partners who chose to partner with her for this very important humanitarian event,” Miller added. “God bless us all, and thank you so very much.”

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