Here to stay: What we're doing to protect and serve immigrants in Chelsea
Posted on: February 22, 2017
We are in the midst of trying times and I know many of you - like all of us at the Collaborative - are afraid for your families, your neighbors, and your own safety. But take comfort knowing you stand with the entire Chelsea Collaborative and City of Chelsea behind you.
We are proud to live in a city like Chelsea, where our City Manager is deeply committed to keeping Chelsea a Sanctuary City for undocumented immigrants. Last week, the City of Chelsea joined Lawrence, Mass. to file suit against President Donald Trump, contending his executive order vowing to pull federal funding from Sanctuary Cities is unconstitutional.
We are grateful to have leaders like City Manager Tom Ambrosino in Chelsea and the City of Lawrence, who stand united with our local police, elected officials, school department, and all of us at the Chelsea Collaborative, to protect our immigrant community.
Immigrants in Chelsea are here to stay. Here's how we will resist:
Create Safe Havens
We're teaming up with local churches in Chelsea to provide safe havens - including food, shelter, and protection - to vulnerable residents and immigrant families. Anyone in our community feeling afraid, under attack, or unsure of how to protect themselves are welcome in our building. We will offer shelter, guidance, legal assistance and more to keep families together. We have increased our hours of operation and are now open Mon-Thurs, 9am - 7pm
Expand immigration and citizenship programs
We at the Collaborative provide services that are crucial for our community to live, work and contribute to our society, including citizenship classes, group processing clinics, legal assistance, and support with citizenship applications, immigration forms, and processes. We will also be adding ESL classes for Chelsea residents soon. Since January, we have seen a sharp increase among Chelsea residents in need of these services.
Humanitarian Crisis Planning
We must unite to resist and protect our community. This week, the Collaborative convened city and school officials, Chelsea police, religious institutions, leaders, and service providers from across Chelsea to develop a Humanitarian Crisis Plan. The plan will be implemented in the event of ICE raids or mass deportations in Chelsea. We are a proud Sanctuary City, which could make us a target for anti-immigrant actions, but we are prepared to respond with the full force of our city.
Knock on Doors & Know our Rights
Many of our neighbors are afraid to go out so on Saturday, March 18 we are mobilizing staff and volunteers to go into our community and talk with people. We want our neighbors to know their rights and be aware of services and events available at the Collaborative and through our citywide partners. We will be knocking on doors, distributing information, and inviting residents to advocacy and know your rights trainings.
SAVE THE DATE: Join our Door Knocking Campaign on March 18
Mental health support for newly arrived children
Hate speech and actions aimed at immigrants and refugees are taking a serious toll on our children. Newly arrived children - many already struggling with past traumas and loss - are now subjected to discrimination, called “illegal,” and lacking a basic sense of safety and security that every child needs to thrive. The Collaborative offers Chelsea Deseo Sonar, (Chelsea Wants to Dream), an art therapy group for newly arrived children and unaccompanied minors ages 9-13 in which various art forms are used to help children express and reflect on emotions that are hard to access through verbal communication or psychotherapy.
Your support for the Chelsea Collaborative is more crucial now than ever. Please join us in welcoming and supporting immigrants and refugees in the City of Chelsea. Donations of time, supplies, and money are welcome!
For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-889-6080