Immigrants And Refugees

Aleth Felix Tchicaya

Building a home and a dream:
Aleth Felix Tchicaya

Aleth Felix Tchicaya came to New York with big dreams of making an impact on the world. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, her country of origin, Aleth worked for the Congolese Ministry of Development and was eventually appointed to Diplomatic Attaché and Mission Leader for the president. Aleth’s nonprofit agency addressed homelessness in the Congo, and she came to the United States hoping to expand her mission to New York City. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan. Bills began to pile up, and soon Aleth was facing eviction.

With no friends or family nearby to count on, Aleth turned to Catholic Charities. We helped with utilities and rent to keep her afloat, but eventually it became clear that she could soon become homeless. Madeline Rivera, Aleth’s case manager, would not let that happen to this soft-spoken and well-educated woman.

Through significant advocacy, Madeline secured a spot for Aleth in a temporary shelter program at the Missionaries of Charity St. Joseph Residence in Harlem. Later, after finding more permanent housing elsewhere, Aleth began searching for employment and secured a part-time job in retail. Since then, Catholic Charities has provided Aleth with food, metro cards, and assistance on bills. As Aleth continues to rebuild, Madeline and Catholic Charities will be with her every step of the way.

I helped the homeless, and then I lost my home. But this is a plan of God. I have faith that everything will be okay, and Madeline believes in me.