NYC first moved asylum seekers upstate in May. What’s happening at those hotels now?
Chris McKenna | lohud | Nov. 29, 2023
“They are invisible to most people,” said Ardsley Mayor Nancy Kaboolian, whose Westchester County village has one of the migrant housing sites. “But not to those who are actively involved with making their lives better…”
Kaboolian, who said she visits the motel a few times a week to talk to the guests and staff and see what they need, said she has heard little from Ardsley residents about the housing arrangement since the largely positive feedback she got after it began in June.
“Even initially, the feeling was much more positive than it was negative,” Kaboolian said. “The response has been really remarkable.”
Roughly 40 to 50 volunteers help in various ways and hold monthly meetings to discuss strategy, she said. They cook meals and organize outings, including a recent trip to the Bronx Zoo for the kids. They give English classes, twice a week at a nearby church and twice a week at the hotel. About three times a month, nonprofit groups serve dinners to the asylum seekers.
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, they pulled out all the stops: a dozen organizations and about 100 volunteers threw a Thanksgiving feast at Woodlands Community Temple in the town of Greenburgh, complete with interpreters at each table to translate the speeches. Kaboolian made blankets for each of the children.
“Thanksgiving is a uniquely American event,” she said. “And we thought we’d share this event with these folks.”