Working With NYC Health + Hospitals and The International Rescue Committee, State Funding Will Be Used to Triage and Expedite Overcoming Barriers to Exit Shelter, Including Filing for Asylum and Work Authorization
Casework Surge Builds on State’s $10 Million Investment in Legal Services in FY24 Budget, Part Of $1.5 Billion Commitment to Covering Shelter, Health Care and National Guard Costs
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a $20 million investment to speed the casework filing process for more than 30,000 asylum seekers. This investment, which is in addition to the $1.5 billion the State has already allocated to addressing this crisis, will help connect asylum seekers with case management services to speed the process of exiting shelter and, when necessary, filing asylum claims. The ultimate goal of these social services is to support asylum seekers as they attain legal work status, exit the shelter system and begin independent living.
“The path out of this crisis is work authorization,” Governor Hochul said. “New York has always welcomed immigrants and new arrivals — and getting asylum seekers on track to work authorization will help them become self-sufficient and come out of the shadows. New York State has provided significant humanitarian aid for more than a year, and we’re committed to continuing to support the City in managing this ongoing crisis.”
This new effort will engage at least 30,000 asylum seekers being sheltered by NYC Health + Hospitals, NYC Emergency Management, and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development with proactive exit-support case management services. The program is designed to immediately engage asylum seekers upon their arrival and continue the engagement throughout their stay in shelter, connecting them with social services that will help them make plans to exit shelter. These social service providers will include the Asylum Application Center, which is also funded by the State of New York.
Utilizing a framework developed by the International Rescue Committee, the internationally recognized NGO, asylum seekers in the City’s shelters will be triaged using a new color-coded scale: green indicates no significant barriers to exiting shelter; yellow indicates barriers to exit that have a path to resolution; and red indicates more complex barriers to exit that require extensive resources. This triage method will speed exit from shelter, facilitate the connection to services or resources required to exit shelter, and put families on the path to independent living. Individuals and families will be engaged on arrival at the City’s arrival center and on an ongoing basis throughout their time in shelter.
This funding is in addition to $10 million that the state provided in the FY24 budget to help the City of New York offer legal services to migrants, which was used to establish the city’s Asylum Application Center. It also builds on existing efforts from the State to shelter unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers, most recently including State-funded Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRCs) opened on Randall’s Island and at Creedmoor Psychiatric Facility. The State has also committed $1.5 billion to support the City’s efforts to shelter asylum seekers and has deployed more than 1,800 members of the New York National Guard to provide logistical and operational support at City-run shelters.