Sticker Shock for New Arrivals


“We were lucky because the apartment was partially furnished which was a great help, and thanks to the ladies at the Aisling Center we got a lot of bits and pieces that we would have needed donated to us so all in all it worked out,” she said.

Tarrant said it’s important to have enough extra cash, after the rent is paid, for sustenance until a job is found.

“It may be a few weeks before a new immigrant gets a paying job so it’s also important to have a bit of change in their back pockets to buy food, etc., the first few weeks until the wages start to come in,” he added.

Flood suggests immigrants planning to come to New York for the long-term should get in contact with the Irish centers in the area they would like to live before they leave Ireland.

“It can be very daunting trying to sort yourself out in a new place if you don’t have any contacts, so my advice is to do the contacting before arriving in New York and they will inform you how much money you will need for an apartment, furniture, bills, etc.,” said Flood.

And to those immigrants who are starting off and don’t even have a spring mattress to sleep on because they can’t yet afford it, O’Donovan said, “Don’t get disheartened. It takes a few weeks to get established but you’ll be surprised how great people are here so keep the chin up, don’t turn your nose up at any job that comes your way, and if you’re a go-getter then everything will fall into place sooner rather than later.”