About Us

MISSION STATEMENT

To provide a supportive community in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for the basic physical, emotional, vocational, legal and financial needs of asylum seekers and refugees until they become financially independent and moving toward a safe and stable future. 

HISTORY AND PROCESS

Established in 2020, the Northeast Kingdom Asylum Seekers Assistance Network (NEKASAN) is a registered 501(c)3  nonprofit organization that is  part of a Vermont/New Hampshire Asylum Seekers Network and a US/Canada Border Collaborative. 

We are often asked to receive asylum seekers who are being held in detention centers or homeless shelters on the border with Mexico or in major cities in the Northeast. We have accepted as guests three single men from Uganda, one from Togo, and one from Iran, and a family from Cuba, as well as a family from Benin.  Asylum seekers have fled  persecution in their own countries by government sanctioned violence, or gang violence due to tribal membership, religious affiliation, political activity or sexual orientation. They have undertaken long, arduous journeys to reach our border.  All of our guests from Africa and the Middle East have walked for roughly two months from South America to our Mexican border and passed through the treacherous, 66-mile Darien Gap in Panama (see Articles of Interest). During the trek one guest was pregnant and another’s pregnant girlfriend died.

Once here most guests have stayed with host families, except for one family living in an apartment that NEKASAN  rents from the United Community Church. We help them obtain Medicaid and connect them with primary care. We connect them with immigration lawyers and translators. While they wait for a year for permission to work in this country, our volunteers, when necessary, tutor them in English and translate for them at appointments. Volunteers also socialize, play sports, and ride bikes with them, bring them to entertainment events, and practice-drive with them in preparation for their road test to obtain a driver’s license. We have provided one guest with a donated car and are hoping to buy a car that guests will be able to use. We are currently providing transportation and tuition  funds for a guest taking a Heating, Ventilation and Air course in Newport. We have found employment for the two guests who are allowed to work and they have become financially independent. 

During  2023 we hope to be able to have resources to receive 4-6 new guests. 

CURRENT FINANCES 2022-23 

Annual Income

   Monthly donations          $7,476

   1 donation of                 $10,000   repetition  unknown

   1 donation of                 $15,000   repetition  unknown

   Canaday Family Fund  $15,000 to be repeated in 2023

                                      ______

                                        $47,476

Assets

                                         $60,123

Annual Expenses

    Current

        One guest living with host  :   $4,800

        One family in an apartment: $17,600

        Legal fees:                              $6,000

                                                       ______

                                                      $28,400

 Proposed for 2023

       5 guests living with host:               $65,325

       3 guests/families in apartments:    $49,635

                                                             _______

                                                            $114,960

FUNDRAISING GOAL FOR 2023

$60,000

BOARD MEMBERS AND CHAIRPERSONS 2022-23

Libby Hillhouse, President

Omar Johnson, Vice President, ( IT)

Jane Alper, Secretary, (Legal)

Lawuo Dolo, Treasurer

Jeffrey Kay

Nancy Toney (Transportation)

Judy Daloz (Education)

Janet Givens (Housing) 

Kathy Hayes  (Volunteers)