In 2011, the Junior League of Cincinnati (JLC) conducted a community scan of unmet needs affecting women and children in the Greater Cincinnati. The research found a lack of coordinated services for refugees. After two years of investigation, the Junior League of Cincinnati identified more than 40 community partners working to empower refugees and began sharing resources and responsibilities regarding the success, integration, and care of refugees. In 2013, RefugeeConnect, an umbrella program to link the community, was born.
In 2018, after five years of nonprofit incubation with the Junior League of Cincinnati, RefugeeConnect launched as an independent, nonprofit organization.
Mission: Improve the lives of refugees in Greater Cincinnati, foster community acceptance and inclusion, and construct a sustainable support system that empowers new Americans on the path to self-sufficiency.
How RefugeeConnect Works:
RefugeeConnect currently addresses the limited supports to acclimate and access to American society through the following methods:
|Refugee School Impact Program with co-location at Cincinnati Public Schools to strengthen academic performance and facilitate social adjustment via tutoring, mentorship, and leadership development empowering 279 school-aged refugees and their families. This program is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ohio Job and Family Services Refugee Services Program, and Hamilton County Education Service Center.|
|Facilitates the Refugee Empowerment Initiative (REI), a quarterlystakeholder forum of more than 110 organizations composed of local cross-sector collaborations between resettlement agencies, local governments, businesses, and other community-based organizations, designed to construct a sustainable support system.|
|Leads Refugee Empowerment Initiative (REI) Action Teams which focus on collaboration to create best practices, such as designing and implementing free assistance for citizenship and greencard filing which occur every six weeks, creating community trainingsto raise awareness of best practices, and advocating to reduce disparities|
|Offers on-demand referral service matching refugees and learning opportunities such as Tutoring, English for Speakers of Other Languages mapping classes in the region, Cultural Orientation, and Citizenship classes|
|Hosts an in-depth virtual resource center (refugeeconnect.org/find-resources) that allows refugees and community stakeholders to connect anytime, anywhere|
|Invests in refugee students through our annual scholarship awards for higher education|
|Provides mentors to refugee students in their career interests to support their academic goals|
|And much more, including business engagement, cultural orientation, impact studies, and nonprofit professional development|
For more information, please contact RefugeeConnect’s program director, Robyn Steiner Lamont, MSW, LSW at firstname.lastname@example.org.