Our Mission Statement By offering a welcoming place to land and a network of broad-based accompaniment support, we help asylum-seekers operate from a place of increased safety and well-being while navigating their asylum processes.
Our History Our project began in January 2019 with the advent of the so-called "migrant caravan" at the US-Mexico border, in which the executive branch manufactured a constitutional and human rights crisis targeting Central and South American asylum-seekers. Recognizing that part of resisting the agendas of xenophobia and white nationalism is welcoming and supporting our new neighbors, we began our work to build a network of support in Western Massachusetts for asylum-seeking individuals who choose to settle here.
We’re a group of folks - including asylum seekers themselves - who have come together to support asylum seekers as a network in the best way that we know how. We work with a wide array of groups in Western Massachusetts.
Our Current Context Our communities are proud to currently support 30 people negotiating active asylum cases. Asylum seekers are currently living with local friends and sponsors who have agreed to house and support them. Before arriving here, many asylum seekers have spent months in immigration detention - despite having committed no crime - before making it out to resettle in Massachusetts.
While their cases advance, there’s a lot involved in settling into a new place. There are classes and appointments and errands and check-ins. There’s loneliness and isolation. There’s a new language to learn. And though it’s ugly structures which have set this all in motion, there’s still many great relationships to build and much beauty to discover. We’re looking to build a broad network of coordinated support, to meet the needs of our newest neighbors and the families who are taking them in. We’d love your support in making our community a truly welcoming place.
Our Structure We have a central coordinating committee that oversees all aspects of our work, and coordinates with other committees to take care of needs as they arise.
If you’d like to get involved as a volunteer or sponsor, we discuss our structure and modes of operation at length in our orientation meetings. Everyone in our organization is a volunteer.
It's fundamentally important to us that our goals and decision-making are led and centered by asylum seekers themselves. As such, asylum seekers who have moved to the area are represented on all of our committees, including our central coordinating committee.