Paz Amigos began in November 2018 when members of the local Indivisible Columbus, GA group discovered that two thousand immigrants (many of whom are seeking asylum) were housed in the Stewart Detention Center- only forty miles from Columbus.
The group was put in contact with Susan Krysak of Columbus. During the previous five years Susan attended to the needs of the amigos from Stewart - she fed, helped, and cared for those released on her own. When Indivisible, Columbus GA realized the work she was doing herself, they set out to help her. The group donated to Susan and soon were helping her during week days. Local groups such as the Unitarian Universalist Church and the Harris County Democrats began to donate and help assist. This was the beginning of something beautiful, something that has grown into a lasting legacy of Susan's selfless sacrifice.
In February 2019 the group formally organized as Paz Amigos (Peace Friends- a name given to us by Susan). In July 2019 we become a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization. The team rotates through Monday – Friday (the men are not released on weekends or holidays). Entirely a volunteer organization, we rely on the kindness of those in our community to support us.
Susan has 'officially' retired although she may be seen 'showing up by chance' to help.
Without the intervention of volunteers, these men are simply dropped off at a bus station with only the clothes on their back and their release paperwork regardless of time of day, weather, or travel plans. We help these men link up with family and provide travel advice and logistical support, food, clothing, and overnight lodging if needed. If you're interested in volunteering or donating to our cause, please contact us today!
Susan Krysak, the woman whose work inspired the creation of Paz Amigos