Thursday, February 11, 2010
It will be years before the impact of Haiti’s earthquake on Haitians in New York can be fully measured. But as the local population rushes to respond — increasing remittances to relatives in Haiti, welcoming others who are fleeing the destruction, or mourning the dead — The New York Times reports that two of the city’s major charities are pitching in to help.
On Thursday, the Brooklyn Community Foundation and the United Way of New York City will announce the start of the NYC Haitian Community Hope and Healing Fund. The fund will issue grants to local nonprofit groups that help Haitians with a variety of services, including immigration assistance, literacy and other educational programs, employment training, and grief counseling.
The initiative, which its organizers say is unique among the Haitian diaspora in the United States, is driven in part by the expectation that the number of Haitians in New York will surge as people flee the quake’s destruction. The Obama administration’s offer of temporary legal status to many illegal Haitian immigrants could also bring thousands of people out of the shadows to seek formal educations and legal work.