HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – A non-profit in Hamburg is on the verge of closing its doors.
Buffalo Peace House provides food, clothing, and shelter for asylum seekers. They’re people who’ve had to flee their country.
“The peace house is so important. The people that stay here have nowhere else to go. So they come here from everywhere. All over the world,” Marci Wagner, the house manager at Buffalo Peace House said.
One of their current guests, fled from an East African country. His identity has been concealed for his own protection. The man, we’ll call John, said he speaks 4 languages, has 3 degrees, and has traveled the world for his job.
John said he had to abruptly leave his country because he spoke up about human rights. He had to leave his wife and child.
“I was a human rights activist. I was trying to talk about it to address the issues. I had problems with my government. So I had to run for my life,” he said.
Buffalo Peace House has helped dozens of people like him since they opened in 2013.
Now they need help. They need $15 thousand by March 1st or they may have to close their doors.
“The money is really going to be used for people. It won’t be used for corporations or some business, but to really make life better for somebody,” Father Roy Herbergen, one of the co-owners of Buffalo Peace House said.
The non-profit also helps guests get back on their feet. Information about educational classes and how to navigate the legal process to get a work permit is distributed. In many cases, getting a work permit can take up to 16 months.
As a result, many people stay for years before they can live independently again. Father Herbergen said it becomes one big happy family.
Going forward, the Buffalo Peace House needs your help. If you’d like to help them stay open, here’s a link to their website: http://buffalopeacehouse.us/donate/