Buffalo earns praise for welcoming refugees
I am so proud of Buffalo! I was thrilled to see our City of Good Neighbors featured Monday on the “PBS NewsHour,” for welcoming and empowering refugees.
Journey’s End, Jericho Road and Lake Shore Behavioral Health were featured for recognizing the health needs, psychological trauma, language barriers and resettlement needs of refugees from many violent situations. The program also pointed out that our new residents contribute very positively to our community when adjusted to our area. If one doubts this, just visit the vendors at Broadway Market as I did at Easter time. There were creators of African crafts and mid-Eastern foods; chat with them and you hear their stories.
I am also grateful to agencies not featured: Vive La Casa, NCCJ, International Institute and all the ESL teachers, translation volunteers, churches and community groups that assist in adjustment and welcome refugees in friendship.
As we bid reluctant farewell to Donn Esmonde, we applaud him for recently bringing people together at a peaceful gathering after violence, not to hear speeches, but to turn to the persons next to you and talk to each other. Let’s continue to do so.