African Services Committee is at the frontlines every day, striving to meet the needs of some of New York’s most vulnerable people. We provide services to enhance immigrants’ prospects of thriving in this country, and we do that through adult literacy programs, a food pantry, free legal assistance, HIV testing and counseling, housing and mental health help and health advocacy. Started by a group of African refugees more than 30 years ago, we were here during the start of the AIDS crisis in New York, which continues to this day among the African Diaspora. And we have several HIV clinics in Africa, provding pediatric and adult HIV treatment in areas where there are no other services.
BUT, we are being priced out of our lease. In order to continue doing what we do, we are looking to buy a building to create a permanent sustainable home for our mission and our clients. ASC has launched a $5.1 million capital campaign, which will result in a state-of-the-art, 31,250 square foot multi-purpose facility in the Bronx that will help thousands of new New Yorkers every year. This is not cheap, but it is something we can accomplish by combining our careful financial planning and help from you!
African Services' Supervising Attorney Kate Webster and Co-Executive Director Kim Nichols successfully pushed for a major change in the scope of NYC Ryan-White Funding, according to an announcement released by Public Health Solutions on May 12, 2015, titled "Legal Services for Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain PRUCOL Status," which states:
"Effective March 1, 2015, NYC DOHMH and PHS will allow for reimbursement of immigration matters in Ryan White-funded Legal Services (ADV) programs for the purpose of obtaining PRUCOL (Permanent Residence Under Color of Law) status for undocumented Ryan White clients."
ASC's Founding Father and Co-Executive Director, Asfaha Hadera, cooked up some traditional Ethiopian cuisine at ASC's kitchen in Harlem, May 21st, in preparation for a small dinner in honor of the major supporters of African Services. The event marked ASC's formal announcement of our capital campaign to acquire our own permanent building in 2015.
Over a feast full of delectable dishes and wine, attendees heard about our plans and carried them on for discussion with like-minded individuals to be newly invited into our capital giving circle.
ASC, now in our fourth decade of operations, has grown to become the largest and most sought-out African community service organization in New York City.
African Services Committee applauds Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) and her colleagues for introducing the Health Equity & Access under the Law (HEAL) Immigrant Women & Families Act of 2015.
The HEAL Act removes the five year ban that prevents certain lawfully present individuals from accessing coverage through Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as removing the restrictions that prevent individuals granted deferred action from receiving subsidized coverage through the Affordable Care Act health exchanges.
Immigrant women, the backbone of their families and communities, are more likely to be low-income, of reproductive age, and uninsured for healthcare. Individuals without health insurance may delay treatment, leading to higher costs and greater suffering, or seek care through under-resourced emergency systems such as Emergency Medicaid.