Girl Scouts quietly welcome hundreds of young migrant girls

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Kids caught successful nan mediate of governmental conflict betwixt N.Y., Texas complete asylum seeker situation

Kids caught successful nan mediate of governmental conflict betwixt N.Y., Texas complete asylum seeker crisis 02:23

Once a week successful a midtown Manhattan hotel, dozens of Girl Scouts stitchery successful a spare room made homey by drawstring lights and children's drawings. They gain badges, spell connected section trips to nan Statue of Liberty, and study really to navigate nan subway successful a metropolis astir person conscionable begun to telephone home.

They are nan newest members of New York City's largest Girl Scout troop. And they unrecorded successful an emergency shelter wherever 170,000 asylum seekers and migrants, including tens of thousands of children, person arrived from nan confederate separator since nan outpouring of 2022.

As authorities officials statement really to grip nan influx of caller arrivals, nan Girl Scouts — whose Troop 6000 has served kids who unrecorded successful nan shelter strategy since 2017 — are softly welcoming hundreds of nan city's youngest caller residents pinch nan support of donations. Most of nan girls person fled dire conditions successful South and Central America and endured an arduous travel to nan U.S.

What is Troop 6000?

Launched by nan Girl Scouts of Greater New York successful 2017, Girl Scouts Troop 6000 is simply a programme for girls surviving successful nan New York City Shelter System. There were 21,774 families surviving successful nan city's bum shelters successful December 2023, according to information from nan Coalition for nan Homeless. Of those, 33,399 were children.

Last year, Troop 6000 opened its newest branch astatine a hotel-turned-shelter successful Midtown Manhattan, 1 of respective city-funded alleviation centers for migrants. Though hundreds of families slumber astatine nan shelter each night, nan Girl Scouts is nan only children's programme offered.

Charter autobus institution to temporarily extremity bringing migrants to NYC 00:22

Unflagging support amid anti-immigrant sentiment

Last January, nan Girl Scouts expanded its Troop 6000 programme to service much than 100 young arrivals surviving successful New York City Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center, according to a statement astatine nan time. The group began recruiting astatine nan shelter and rolled retired a bilingual program to thief scouts study much astir New York City done its monuments, subway system, and governmental borders.

One twelvemonth later, pinch astir 200 members and 5 parents arsenic unit leaders, nan shelter is nan largest of Troop 6000's astir 2 twelve sites crossed nan metropolis and nan only 1 exclusively for asylum-seekers.

Not everybody is happy astir nan improvement of Troop 6000. With anti-immigrant rhetoric connected nan emergence and a contentious predetermination ahead, immoderate donors spot nan Girl Scouts arsenic wading excessively readily into politically arguable waters. That hasn't fazed nan group — aliases their mini service of philanthropic supporters. Amid metropolis fund cuts and a increasing request for services, they are among dozens of charities that opportunity their support for each New Yorkers, including newcomers, is much important than ever.

"There are immoderate donors who would for illustration their dollars spell elsewhere," said Meridith Maskara, CEO of nan Girl Scouts of Greater New York. "I americium perpetually being asked: Don't you find this a small excessively political?"

But Troop 6000 has besides recovered plentifulness of sympathetic supporters, "If it has to do pinch young girls successful New York City, past it's not political," Maskara said. "It's our job."

With fewer different after-school opportunities available, nan girls are "so quiet for more" ways to get involved, said Giselle Burgess, elder head of nan Girl Scouts of New York's Troop 6000.

New York City, charities emotion nan crunch

New York City has spent billions connected nan asylum seekers while buckling nether nan unit of an existing lodging and affordability crisis. That's near small clip to tribunal and coordinate nan city's awesome philanthropies.

"It's very difficult to return a measurement backmost erstwhile you're drinking retired of a occurrence hose," said Beatriz de la Torre, main philanthropy serviceman astatine Trinity Church Wall Street, which gave nan Girl Scouts a $100,000 emergency assistance — positive $150,000 successful yearly support — to thief grow Troop 6000.

With aliases without authorities directives, she said, charities are emotion nan crunch: Food banks request much food. Legal clinics request much lawyers.

Since asylum-seekers began arriving to nan city, astir 30 section assistance makers, including Trinity Church and Brooklyn Org, person met astatine slightest biweekly to talk nan accrued demands connected their grantees.

Together, they've provided complete $25 cardinal for charities serving asylum seekers, from free ineligible assistance to resources for navigating nan nationalist schoolhouse system.

"It's difficult for nan authorities to beryllium that nimble — that's a awesome spot for nonprofits and philanthropy," said Eve Stotland, elder programme serviceman astatine New York Community Trust, which convenes nan Working Group for New York's Newcomers, and itself has distributed complete $2.7 cardinal successful grants for caller immigrants.

"These are our neighbors," said Stotland. "If a funder's extremity is to make New York City a amended spot for everyone, that includes newcomers."

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