USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

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USCRI's Black Hawk County Refugee Services (BHCRS) Program

Through the Black Hawk County Refugee Services (BHCRS) program, USCRI Des Moines will open a sub-office in Waterloo, Iowa to serve secondary migrants living in Black Hawk County. Many refugees (primarily Karenni and Chin Burmese refugees) have out-migrated to this region due to the promising employment opportunities found there. However, this area is isolated from any resettlement agency, leaving these individuals without an experienced organization to provide services and support for community integration.

USCRI Des Moines will provide basic resettlement services to secondary migrants, such as English classes, securing safe housing, and providing case management services. The program will empower refugees through English classes and cultural orientation, which will ensure that they become self-sufficient, contributing members of their new community. In addition, USCRI Des Moines will build stronger connections between the Black Hawk County community and the secondary migrant refugee community through creative outreach and proven strategies.  The BHCRS Program is made possible thanks to funding from the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Supplemental Services for Recently Arrived Refugees.

USCRI has over 100 years of experience helping immigrants acculturate to life in the United States. By working with both the secondary migrant refugee community and the various stakeholders in Black Hawk County, the BHCRS program will bridge the gap so they can all move forward with a better understanding of one another’s needs and perspectives. A specific focus on cultural orientation and self-sufficiency will ensure that secondary migrants thrive in their new home of Black Hawk County, Iowa.

For regular updates and to learn more about the program, please visit our Tumblr page: http://blackhawkrefugees.tumblr.com/

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