The children will be exposed to abuse when their needs cannot be satisfied, not even the basics. The reality of life will be very challenging, if they are not ready mentally and economically to face it, that will lead them to anxiety.

Based upon this prevision, Solidarity Christian Community Development Association (SCCDA) recognizes that the need for trauma recovery is great not only for Haitians, but also for all the other communities facing the challenge that this speedy transition exposed them to.

Thus, we seek to incorporate mental health to the second phase of the program for the benefit of a larger community not just the Haitians.
ESL classes/ After school program

We will organize citizenship and ESL classes and encourage green card holders to change their status to become US Citizens and to have an impact in the decision-making system.

Many immigrants are looking for ESL classes but cannot find. That way, they are stacked in the bottom of the society working long hours shift. Their children have no one to help them with their home works. An ESL class will help them get better jobs. We are also looking forward to accompanying their children with after school programs and homework.

Database

 Some TPS holders are very good students in high school with straight A and big GPA. They are desperate because they won’t be able to attend college. We will make sure we have a database on them to advocate a partnership with certain universities to offer them some scholarship that would change their status.

We will be interested in knowing how to keep contact with them if they return home.

Conclusion:

Because you have extended your hands to me today, as I do the same to my brother who promised to do the same to his neighbor, together we have made an unbroken chain of Solidarity for a better tomorrow of hope.
A special thank you to:

  •  Matt & Margaret Balitsaris     
  • Virginia  Schein
  • Susan Goodrich  & Hank Goldberg
  • Ruth Schroeder Jtwros & Julian Schroeder
  • Mike & Judy Grasso
  • Charles Stanley & Christian Stanley
  • David Rasner & Caroline Wischmann
  • Mary   Osbakken
  • Julia  Devine
  • Reb Brooks & Hayden SAUNIER
  •  Tom & Karen Lyon
  •  Charles & Susan  Scholer
  •  David & Constance Gillis
  • Bonnie Chang & Robert Hsu
  •  Duane Morris, LLP law firm          

SCCDA Assisting Haitians TPS Recipients

When the US government took the measure to end the TPS for Haitians, Salvadorians, Guatemalans, Yemen’s, Soudan just to name a few, many families, group, associations and friends stood up together to ask what to do in that situation. Everyone, or group who cares for these ethnic groups wanted to support them in a way.

 I only had the willingness and a room available at the church to offer my help. Solidarity Christian Community Development Association (SCCDA) had only couple hundreds of dollars in its account. When I shared the idea with my inner circle of collaborators, they responded positively by connecting the rest of their extended families and built up a fortress of hope around those who were in distress. That clarifies Proverbs 17:17 “A friend is always a friend, and relatives are born to share our troubles”.


Two months later, it is with great encouragement and humility that I am reporting to you that we have served together over 30 Haitian recipients with Temporary Protected Status located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. People are still coming our way seeking for help and accompaniment.


Here is the result of your partnership with Solidarity Christian Community Development Association, SCCDA:

  • Solidarity Christian Community Development Association, SCCDA, has deployed efforts and coordination between its 2-volunteer staff to make phone calls, do home visits, reminding and motivating TPS recipients not to wait, but to act before the March 19th deadline to re-apply and keep the status.
  • We also helped them file the forms I-765 and I-821 that are respectively the work permit and the Temporary Protected Status forms. Many of the recipients came with 2, or 3 more of family members.
  • It was a real burden for them to pay $ 495.00 per person to keep the status. We also came across a case that went over our capacity that needed the intervention of specialists of the Law. If it was not for the skills of the Duane Morris Law firm professionals, one of our recipients’ hope would not be restored.
  •  We had also interceded before the government agencies such as PennDOT and USCIS that did not update their system upon extension of the expiration date of the work permit. That cost people their driving privilege and refrain them from attending work for at least 1 week.
  • ·         We had also intervened on behalf of those who had not received their work permit cards from USCIS during the last re-registration period.  As a result, they had received their cards later in mail without paying extra money for that.


  •  We also sent letters to workplaces who had laid off TPS workers because they had troubles understanding that confusing situation. We enclosed the notes of USCIS Federal Register stipulating the clear extension of the expired work permit until the arrival of the new ones.

  • We have also applied for new positions for people who have lost their previews jobs. We translated for them during job interviews, drove them from one place to another to get things done.

Because of these interventions, the hope of the TPS recipients was restored for 18 more months. Recipients were able to re-register and kept their TPS status. Although all of them have not yet received the new cards, but some have already get their biometrics done. They have also maintained their driving privilege and feel more secure on the road either as drivers, or as passengers.

PS: All that was possible because of your substantial contribution.

We believe the work is not done yet. We feel called to advocate on their behalf until something is changed. For that reason, we transition to the phase 2 of the project.


Phase 2

The phase 2 of the project will be consisting of:

  • Doing advocacy works on their behalf
  •  Seeking assistance in mental health for TPS recipients
  • Having a data base on TPS families
  • Helping green card holders to become US citizens trough English as a Second Language (ESL)

Why is advocacy necessary?

After the earthquake, the US government had well planned the arrival of certain folks from Haiti either to accompany minor US citizens living in Haiti who needed to be evacuated for safety, or to offer humanitarian parole to survivors who needed health treatments. A good number of them received upon their arrival a I-94 with a mention “indefinite”. Today, the same US government should not ask them to go home without any other form of planning.

 The children survivors who arrived here eight years ago, their primary language is no longer Creole, but English. Therefore, they are not fit for the educative system of Haiti. To transition them to a school system where they don’t fit is not justice.


For that matter, SCCDA intends to be networking with other organizations across the nation to call upon those who have power to make things happen to bring about the change that is necessary for the TPS recipients to become a legal stable community.

We will also keep on updating the TPS holders upon every move that the government will make. We will inform them on the tactics of ICE to intercepting people, so that they know what to-do.

We will make sure that people with TPS understand that “going back home” is also an option that will need to be considered if all efforts are in vain. They need to have a plan B instead of being taken by surprised.

Mental health

Transitioning the survivors of the 2010 Haitian earthquake back home right now will cause them more trauma and anxiety. The first reason for that anxiety is that they have received medical treatment, not mental treatment for the trauma that they went through in Haiti when they were invited to come.

Another reason that will push them on the precipice of anxiety is that upon returning, they won’t have enough money to pay for American schools for their children. That will be another tragedy to see their American children unable to learn when they are placed in a school system that is not made for them.