ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Capital Region leaders and community-based organizations met with DocGo, the company contracted by New York City to care for the asylum seekers, last week to discuss concerns over their treatment and NEWS10 has the latest developments.
Community groups tell NEWS10 that DocGo is making good on their promise to provide more transparency and communication. Bill Sherman with Allies For Justice (AJF) Schenectady County says they now communicate with DocGo on a weekly basis.
“Our organizers and their local coordinators meet via Zoom, every Monday to kind of go over what has happened, what are the current needs. And we just want to keep those communication lines open,” said AFJ member, Bill Sherman.
Yet, some local community-based organizations say they still are leery going forward with the company.
“So, there is a lot of movement and a lot of room for improvements, but we have seen a willingness on the part of DocGo and NYC to being more open and transparent with local service providers,” said Executive Director of RISSE, Daniel Butterworth.
According to the organizations that work closely with the asylees in the region, those concerns are for, proper nutrition, medical care, laundry services, and a clear path to legal services. When speaking with the asylees in Albany they tell me DocGo is still not providing all they say are.
“I’ve only received interviews and have been told that I will receive a health insurance card to be able to get basic Medical Services I’ve heard some people have gotten it, but I have not received anything,” said Juan Carlos.
“The hotel was providing a washer and a dryer but they’re either broken and out of service or just not accessible anymore we’re only allowed to bring our clothes down on Mondays one day a week,” said Carlos.
However, the asylees say some improvements have been made.
“Two days ago, I received a bus pass finally after waiting all this time. But I have not received any of the other things, nothing else has come,” said Carlos.
“For the past week and a half, the food has begun to improve. Now we get rice and fried fish and things that are more acceptable,” said Juan Carlos.
The leaders with AJF, Schenectady County just finished up their weekly meeting with DocGo and they tell NEWS10 the meeting “was cordial, but not really productive”.
The AFJ says DocGo said the current needs for asylees was school supplies. Which the organization says confuses them because they say that they have joined forces with Mohonasen to fulfill those needs. AFJ say DocGo has asked that they continue with the Friday giveaways to asylum seekers, for now. The message goes on to say there was a clerical error made when processing the medical insurance for the asylees and DocGo now says to AFJ everyone is covered.
NEWS10 has reached out to DocGo and they say are preparing a response. We are awaiting that response.