First Friends is happy to announce the opening of the Lighthouse at the Church of the Incarnation which will provide temporary housing for post-release individuals (immigrants released from detention) who were forced to flee persecution in their home countries due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
The Lighthouse officially opened it doors in March 2017, welcoming four male guests – two from Ethiopia, one from Syria and one from Honduras, with one space available for a woman. The house will be home for five guests (and one house manager) at a time upon their release from one of four detention facilities in NJ. Often these released individuals have spent upwards of six months to a year languishing in detention, even though they have never committed a crime.
In addition to providing a safe haven and a community for their guests, the Lighthouse will provide additional resettlement support as needed. Examples include food, transportation, telephone, toiletries, language tutoring, legal aid, and financial support to guests so they can get established in their own apartments.
The Lighthouse is a partnership between Church of the Incarnation and First Friends of NY and NJ. The Lighthouse is helping to fulfill part of First Friends mission to “uphold the inherent dignity and humanity of detained immigrants and asylum seekers by providing compassion and hope through resettlement assistance“. The Lighthouse is housed in the Parish House at The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Jersey City.
Parishioners from three Episcopal churches in Jersey City — Church of the Incarnation, Grace Church Van Vorst and St. Paul’s — recently came together to prepare the house for the new residents. For all their great work and support we wish to thank those parishioners, as well as Rev. Deacon Jill Singleton, Rev. Gary Commins (Rector), and the Vestry of Church of the Incarnation.
When you give to First Friends of NJ & NY, you are also supporting our work in post release resettlement that will help transform lives and provide hope and services to released detainees as they establish themselves in their new country.