Helping New Jersey City Immigrant Residents
Welcome Home Jersey City, established in 2016, is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides educational, employment and material support for refugees, asylees and asylum-seekers in the Jersey City area. Welcome Home Jersey City operates from the philosophy that all people deserve the dignity of a decent home, and the resources they need to make a better life for themselves. Welcome Home Jersey City believes our communities need to help our new neighbors adjust to their new environment. To facilitate successful socioeconomic integration, Welcome Home Jersey City steps in to augment and extend services provided by local/state resettlement agencies.
Jersey City is the home to the Statue of Liberty and one of the most diverse cities in the country. By partnering with local government, businesses, and other like-minded, nonprofit organizations, we have the capacity to welcome people from all over the world. Welcome Home Jersey City strives to provide refugees and asylees with the support they need to attain long-term success in this country. In support of this mission, they provide a wide range of services, including:
- Airport pickup.
- Apartment set up.
- Cultural appropriate warm meal for homecoming.
- Support in navigating new environment.
- Friendship and companionship.
- Assistance with paperwork and appointments.
- Weekly ESL and Enrichment Classes.
- Employment Assistance.
- Help acquiring bicycles, phones and laptops.
- Clothing and supply drives.
The Welcome Home Jersey City team is primarily made up of four (4) paid staff members, who are notably knowledgeable, perceptive, and resourceful. This collective team has an extensive network of people and resources throughout Jersey City. Welcome Home Jersey City has developed a unique rapport across a diverse Jersey City community, and it has been said that they can each navigate Jersey City with their eyes closed. The community has built trust with Welcome Home Jersey City. People will confidently seek their guidance, specifically with immigrant resettlement matters. Organizationally, this team is supported and mentored by an active board of directors from a complementary mix of occupations. This assembly of diverse talent, with a range of professional and personal experiences, enable Welcome Home Jersey City to anticipate and respond to broader systemic immigrant issues – legal, social, political, medical, educational, and employment.
HealthierJC + Welcome Home Jersey City
For Welcome Home Jersey City, a Culture of Health means that all community have access to immigration resettlement knowledge and resources. This enables immigrants to make informed decisions for themselves and their families. By supporting vulnerable and underserved members of our Jersey City community, Welcome Home Jersey City helps ensure all our residents can prosper and thrive.
This program closely aligns with the HealthierJC mission to help immigrant children:
- Expand access to quality resource.
- Access food and educational supplies.
- Address Jersey City health and education disparities.
In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the ongoing contribution of Welcome Home Jersey City in advancing a Culture of Health for immigrant families throughout all Jersey City neighborhoods.
Providing Pandemic Support for Children
At the peak of the pandemic when schools went virtual, Welcome Home Jersey City used the HealthierJC mini-grant to distribute food and educational supplies to immigrant households. Welcome Home Jersey City provided groceries to 150 Jersey City residents whose families were affected by COVID-19, or were not able to work. They also purchased some tech supplies (headphones, cords, phone video stands, etc.) for students who had to participate in school remotely.
During this unprecedented time, Welcome Home Jersey City found innovative ways to help many immigrant families in need.
They partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to augment distribution of food and supplies, and also partnered with Computers 4 People to enable remote participation in work and learning activities.
Welcome Home Jersey City looks forward to continuing the dissemination of information and fostering communication throughout the grassroots Jersey City immigrant network. Within this network, Welcome Home Jersey City works to ensure that messages are properly translated and delivered with the appropriate cultural context. Translation methods include interpreters, voice notes, videos, volunteers, or google translate for all languages and range of literacy abilities, for instance, immigrants who are preliterate, and are still learning English. A good example of their work is the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which Welcome Home Jersey City produced.
In this instance, the team enlisted the help of familiar and trusted community members, and asked them to participate in a successful video vaccination campaign. The campaign also referred the immigrant community to local municipal services like the Jersey City Child Health Clinic, the Division of Immigrant Affairs and the Partnership for a HealthierJC for guidance, support, and resources.
“Your organization can only benefit from being a part of Partnership for a Healthier JC, so why not?! Take this step in prioritizing the health of your community and giving them access!”
– Kenna Mateos, Program Manager of Welcome Home Jersey City
For more information about Welcome Home Jersey City, please visit the organization’s website at https://welcomehomerefugees.org/