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District 39

Shahana Hanif

Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington

As of right now, District 39 has two emergency shelters for asylum seekers. We have heard from dozens of concerned community members asking how they can help our newest neighbors, so here are the best ways to help right here in our neighborhood. 

  • Many asylum seekers are going to CHiPS, the food pantry and soup kitchen in Park Slope, to supplement their shelter meals. CHiPS is in urgent need of Spanish-speaking volunteers; if you are interested, please contact Melissa Newkirk at And because of the huge increase in demand, food supplies need replenishment if CHiPS is to continue serving our new neighbors as well as longtime clients. Urgently needed: microwaveable rice and bean packs, soups, and meals; instant oatmeal; instant ramen noodles or Cup O’ Noodles; cereals and shelf-stable milk;  juice pouches or bottles; snacks (nuts, beef sticks, crackers, cookies, fruit cups); peanut butter and jelly; tortillas; sandwich meats and cheese, mayo and butter, and sliced bread; already-made sandwiches; eggs; fresh fruit (bananas, apples, oranges, berries). Donations may be dropped off from 9 AM -2 PM, Mon-Sat, at CHiPS, 200 4th Ave., between Sackett and Degraw Sts. Other ways to help: Donate directly via the CHiPS site, to help them buy food and supplies in bulk, or shop CHiPS’s Amazon wish listCHiPS has served those in need for over 50 years and continues to rely on the generosity of neighboring communities to do this!
  • We also know Mutual Aid Groups in our district, specifically Gowanus Mutual Aid (GMA), are working to provide warm clothes and other direct assistance to asylum seekers. Your donation will help support the direct work of neighbors helping neighbors. 
    • GMA are putting updated needs on an Amazon wish list – this will be updated every few days.
    • To cover other expenses (professional training, metrocards, shoes, other needs) we are keeping an open campaign here.
    • If you’re interested in volunteering with Gowanus Mutual Aid, you can fill out a form here.
  • Our office is also working with Mixteca – a City-contracted asylum seeker navigation center satellite site working to provide mental health services, immigrant rights services, and ESOL classes. Learn more and support their work in helping asylum seekers in our community.
  • The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is also looking for volunteers to work with newly arrived asylum seekers to help them navigate immigration legal processes. Learn more on the NYLAG website.

This is an ongoing situation, and we will continue to update the community as we gather more information. At City Hall, we are continuing to advocate for the federal government for expedited work authorizations and ensure the Mayor follows all humanitarian standards when offering housing to asylum seekers. 

The needs of asylum seekers, and the community-based organizations that serve them, may change week-to-week so please return to this page for updated information if needed. If you’re looking to support Citywide efforts to welcome asylum seekers, you can do so here.