Resource Directory for Refugees

Dates of Program

2011

Field of Work

Compilation and publication of a resource guide to serve as a reference tool for newly arrived refugees and their community advocates

Problem Synopsis

Newly arrived refugees and their advocates struggle with locating appropriate community resources and how to access these services. An understanding of the challenges and service needs of refugees needed to be identified, as well as possible solutions and existing community resources available to meet those needs.

Synopsis of Work

The Foundation, along with the Reclamation Project, facilitated a series of Community Empowerment Forums using an appreciative inquiry process. Participants included members from various ethnic communities from Burma, grassroots volunteers, service providers, and city officials in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The forums initially identified many priority areas related to the progress, ongoing and emerging needs, and challenges related to refugee integration with the Fort Wayne community. From this list, the group identified five topics to include in a resource manual: education, housing, healthcare, employment, and public safety. The final manual included resources, challenges identified, and possible solutions explored.

Primary Partners

  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement (Funding)
  • St. Joseph Community Health Foundation (Facilitation and Project Management)
  • The Reclamation Project (Co-Facilitation)
  • Community Participants (49 Different individuals representing community organizations/service providers both American and ethnic.)

Key Results

  • Communication was strengthened among the participants thus improving work toward refugee integration in the community.
  • Current and emerging challenges were identified and possible solutions explored.
  • Information shared with local policy makers and shareholders.
  • Books containing 172 identified resources distributed to various community individuals, advocates, and service providers.
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