Refugee Resettlement Programs in Northeast Indiana
Northeast Indiana has a strong tradition of welcoming newcomers and refugees, most recently from Burma, Bosnia, Congo, and Somalia. In the past two years, our community and nation have received our Afghan allies, Ukrainians fleeing war, and people seeking safety including Venezuelans, Haitians, Cubans, and Nicaraguans.
Resettling into a new culture and building a new life is not easy for our new residents. Our community is blessed with various private, not-for-profit organizations reaching out to welcome these refugees and assist them. However, increasing numbers of refugees due to global conflicts and new federal policies are stretching these agencies. There are also new opportunities for businesses, churches, organizations, families, and individuals to help.
The community is invited to a special presentation on “Refugee Resettlement Programs in Northeast Indiana” at 3:30 PM on March 30 at the Allen County Public Library. Sponsored by the St. Joe Foundation, Amani Family Services, Catholic Charities, International House, and Petra Solutions, Inc., the 75-minute presentation will feature professional insights on local resettlement and how the community might join in supporting these newest Hoosiers.
The free program will focus on resettling those refugee immigrants identified by the U.S. State Department as unable to return home and already approved for resettlement here. The program will feature the story of So Min Oo. Oo, a Burmese refugee who resettled here fifteen years ago, today is earning his MBA and employed as an Operations Manager for Kroger. Local Immigration Attorney Desiree Koger-Gustafson will explain the different refugee classifications and accompanying government support and potential pathways for citizenship. The newest federal public-private immigration program launched in January, “Welcoming Corps,” will be presented. Local professionals operating refugee resettlement and assistance programs at Amani, Catholic Charities, and International House will share their programs and opportunities to join in their work.