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Integrating and welcoming refugees

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Laura Hagg
Laura Hagg asked

I am the project director for ICMA's local economic development program in Jordan and would welcome the opportunity to hear about cities' experiences in welcoming and integrating refugees - particularly in the area of changes in service delivery and integrating them into the economy. How did you bring your community and refugees together? or not? Were you able to create an enabling environment to integrate them in the local economy? Thank you for any ideas!


Answers

 
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Katherine Takai

Hi Laura! One community you might want to look at is Lewiston, Maine. They created a network of social services to meet the needs of a large influx of Somalian refugees. They employed some of the Somalian students through their recreation department; integrated new residents into the educational systems; and employed a number of measures to ensure that they had access to language and housing resources and had opportunities to be engaged in communities activities, such as leadership boards, etc.

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