Jail Ministry reverses its promise to immigrant farmworkers

A couple of weeks ago Jail Ministry founder Bill Cuddy announced he will let immigrant farmworkers stay indefinitely at Slocum House after the Radical Education Collective and Black Lives Matter joined the Workers’ Center in a rally to stop the eviction of immigrant farmworkers from the house.

The rally was organized after Jail ministry’s director Keith Cieplicki and founder Bill Cuddy refused to come to an agreement  about hospitality at Slocum House. The house had been offered to provide hospitality and sanctuary to immigrant workers at the beginning of 2017 but 5 months later we were told to leave. Workers living at the house received an eviction as we found out the house had been offered to Andre Lunetta from A Tiny Home for Good to be used for offices.

At a time when immigrants are under attack it is disappointing to see the lack of humanity towards the most vulnerable. We understand people with resources and power will always disappoint us, those are the bosses, the managers, the landlords, those who decide to profit out of exploitation and poverty but we  expect more from those who call themselves people of faith. Bill Cuddy has years of social justice in Central NY, but this time he has committed a terrible injustice in an effort to help his friends.

ATHFG has informed us they do not have any responsibility toward the immigrant farmworkers currently living at the house, but since their cause is homelessness they will allow the workers to stay for one year after they become the owners of the house. They also informed us that they “can’t refuse to take the house.”

ATHFG already owns a house that was also donated to them which, according to their website, is already used for offices. We hope ATHFG will reconsider their position and, at the very least, allow immigrant farmworkers to continue to have a space for temporary housing and sanctuary indefinitely. To who much is given, much is expected from.

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