BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The community showed why Buffalo is the 'City of Good Neighbors'. After Dr. Anna Mongo, Jericho Road's Chief Program Officer and Director of Vive, put out the call for help.
"I just never doubted that Buffalo was going to come through," said Dr. Mongo.
100 asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic Congo came to Buffalo three weeks ago to flee conflict. According to the Mercy Corps, more than 4.5 million people have been displaced by the conflict.
"The 100 people, approximately 25 families who are asking to stay at Vive long term has definitely been a shift in the way that we provide services," said Mongo.
The community helped to raise more than $250,000 to help the cause.
"I think for the first time, they're feeling a sense of relief in this entire journey," said Mongo.
But this is still just the beginning.
"Dealing with the influx that came last week could take up to 2 years before they're either authorized to work and transition out or they're granted asylum and transition out," said Mongo.
Many are already facing deportation, according to Executive Director at Journey's End Karen Andolina Scott.
"Instead of being detained at a federal facility, they are non-detained and have to check in with ICE on a monthly basis," said Scott.
Vive is still looking for donations and volunteers. They're also in need of legal help.
"If they have immigration experience, wonderful, but more so somebody who would be willing to learn and really stick with the fase even if the case could take a couple of years," said Scott.
There potential for more asylum-seekers to come to Buffalo, according to Dr. Mongo.
"As many as 300,000 Congolese refugees continue to come up through Southern and Central America," said Dr. Mongo.
Donations will allow Vive to continue to help, but long term CEO and founder of Jericho Road Dr. Myron Glick says what they have now is not enough and they'll need to adjust.
"A different space maybe that does the same thing, but does it better," said Dr. Glick.