AAFSC promotes mental and physical wellbeing, healthy relationships, and all forms of community wellness, using our culturally and linguistically competent, trauma-informed model.
We know that families are healthier when they are together so we fight for family reunification. We support restorative justice, equity, and fair policies for marginalized and under-resourced immigrants and refugees.
Through our Health Program, we sign individuals up for free or low-cost health insurance. As the only Arabic speaking Health Navigator in New York, we serve individuals from the entire tri-state area. We also support individuals in signing up for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits because we know that eating healthy enables families to work, learn, and succeed. We promote behavioural changes that ensure greater health through diabetes and smoking cessation workshops. Our staff works directly with hospitals and general practitioners so that we have an understanding of which doctors have the linguistic or translation capabilities our clients need.
Recognizing the need for additional mental health support in our marginalized communities, we launched a Mental Health Initiative in June 2018 in partnership with Maimonides Community Care, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and community stakeholders. The program aims to promote wellness, early detection, access to support and care, and connections to effective interventions within immigrant and refugee communities in Downtown Brooklyn and Bay Ridge through a community participatory model. Non-traditional individuals, like barbershop employees and faith-based stakeholders, are as involved as hospitals and clinicians in reducing mental health stigma and increasing early detection and access to a support network for those suffering. We also have two mental health clinicians on site to offer services to youth, adults, and staff.
Assisted over 1,000 individuals on citizenship & asylum requests & family reunification claims.
78 individuals signed up for free or low-cost health insurance.
302 refugees from across the United States receive assistance in paying back travel loans.
We ensure families have access to their rights, remain with their families, and understand immigration laws through our Legal Services. We support with green card and visa applications, citizenship exams, family reunification claims, translate official documents, offer legal guidance, and more.
The Arab-American Family Support Center is the only organization currently offering support to newly arrived immigrants and refugees struggling with travel debt. Through our New Immigrants and Refugees Fund, we offer funding to families who are saddled with over $5,000 of debt to the International Office of Migration during an already stressful time.
All of our Priority Areas are linked. Program participants are exposed to a range of initiatives every time they enter our Center and staff across the agency are equipped to work with clients across priority areas. For example, all of our work is done through a lens of mental health promotion. Staff are equipped to recognize signs of distress and refer to our other services as well as partner organizations as needed.