Sept. 22, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
An event that aims to help immigrant workers access state and federal financial aid is being held in Elmhurst this weekend.
The event, called the Immigrant Resource Fair, will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, located at 84-07 Broadway.
Attendees will be offered information, resources and assistance in applying for financial relief such as through the Excluded Workers Fund. The fund provides immigrant workers who lost their jobs in the midst of the pandemic – and did not qualify for federal unemployment benefits – with a payment of up to $15,600. It is primarily for undocumented immigrants.
“If you need help applying for the New York State Excluded Workers Fund, we will have experts on site who can help you,” tweeted Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who is hosting the event.
1+ million immigrants call #Queens home, but sometimes the services our families need are hard to access. On Saturday in #Elmhurst, we’re bringing community organizations and city agencies together for an Immigrant Resource Fair — connecting residents with much-needed services. pic.twitter.com/5QqoqA2CBa
— Queens Borough President Donovan Richards (@QnsBPRichards) September 21, 2021
Attendees will also be able to tap into other immigrant-related resources, as well as get help in applying for rent relief. They will also be able to get advice as to their workplace rights.
A number of city agencies will be on hand to provide residents with important information and services including the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, NYC Emergency Management and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.
For instance, attendees will be able to enroll for a city photo identification card at the event known as IDNYC. The card is one way for undocumented New Yorkers to meet the residency and identification requirements needed to apply for the Excluded Workers Fund. The card can also help immigrants provide identity for employment and open a bank account.
Attendees will also be given help in applying for the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program— a program that aims to help residents cover unpaid rent. To be eligible, households must be behind on rent due to financial hardship caused by the pandemic and make 80 percent or less of the area median income where they reside. Immigration status is not looked at for eligibility.
Furthermore, community-based groups such as the Asian Americans for Equality, the Garden of Hope, the Hispanic Federation, Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center and Womankind will all have representatives at the event.
Emily Rios, the managing director for Asian Americans for Equality, said that the organization will be providing multilingual assistance to attendees.
“It’s especially crucial that low-income immigrant community members have the necessary tools to apply for the state’s Excluded Workers Fund and Emergency Rental Assistance Program,” Rios said.
“[The] AAFE will be prepared to facilitate these applications.”
Attendees looking to get help applying for the Excluded Workers Program application are asked to register in advance by clicking here and bring appropriate documents. Personal information will be kept confidential and will be used only for eligibility determination purposes, organizers said.
Additionally, a mobile vaccine unit will be stationed outside the event for attendees to get a COVID-19 shot.
A number of elected officials are co-sponsoring the event including Congresswoman Grace Meng and Assembly members Catalina Cruz and Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas