Gateways for Growth: take a survey to support building a welcoming community

2023 World Refugee Day at the Allen County Public Library

Did you know that immigrants represent 24.7% of the total population growth in the region and that 1,299 local manufacturing jobs were created or preserved in the region because of immigrants? 

The St. Joe Foundation is excited about the opportunities immigrants, new Americans, bring to our community and is supporting a new effort to remove barriers to inclusion for immigrants and refugees. A year-long initiative called Gateways for Growth kicked off at the end of 2022 and is led by three organizations: Amani Family Services, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., and the Downtown Improvement District.

Barriers to inclusion will be researched to develop a strategic plan to address concerns surrounding accessibility and equity. One of the first steps is to gather information through a community survey. 

Everyone 18 years and older is invited to take the survey here: 

The Fort Wayne Gateways for Growth initiative received funding and technical assistance from the American Immigration Council and Welcoming America to research the barriers and opportunities for immigrants and refugees throughout Fort Wayne. The St. Joe Foundation provided local matching dollars for the work. The data will aid core partners in composing a strategic community plan to address concerns surrounding accessibility of local services, and employment opportunities for immigrants and refugees.

“Valuing the dignity of each person is a core principle of the St. Joe Foundation,” said Meg Distler, executive director of the Foundation. “Our work with immigrants and refugees helps ensure that those new to our community are welcomed and treated with care.”