In recent years, the neighborhoods of East Portland and Gresham, Oregon have seen a very large influx of immigrants and refugees. There are currently somewhere between 60 and 80 different languages spoken at home in this area. Among the newcomers, there is great need for assistance in figuring out “life in America”, as well as a deep desire for long-term relational support – a community.
In East Portland and Gresham, there are few accessible public places where immigrants and refugees can gather, learn, celebrate, and mingle with long-time residents. To meet this need, the Refugee and Immigrant Hospitality Organization (RIHO) is opening The Welcome Center, an inclusive and supportive place where refugees and immigrants can connect with one another and learn how to access community resources and where the general public can become an integral part of welcoming newcomers. The Welcome Center will open in May 2017 in the heart of the refugee and immigrant neighborhoods of outer East Portland/Gresham.
The Welcome Center will provide a place where refugees and immigrants:
-Connect with others; build long-term relationships
-Find transportation assistance
-Craft a resume
-Access a music and reading library
-Access community resources & services
-Develop English language skills
-Obtain donated household goods & furniture
-Work on job skills
-Have space for events & community gatherings
-Obtain financial assistance info
HOW YOU CAN HELP
DONATE: Expenses for operating The Welcome Center include rent, insurance, supplies (coffee, paper, etc.), interpretive services, truck rental, etc. Any amount you can give will make a big impact in the lives of refugees and immigrants in East Portland!
VOLUNTEER: Besides donating financially, there are other ways to get involved. Our mission is carried out by a volunteer team committed to strengthening our community by fostering cross-cultural relationships, celebrating cultural diversity and supporting under-served ethnic groups. We have a solid orientation and support system for volunteers to ensure this can be achieved, as well as a variety of opportunities for all interested parties to be involved in this life-changing work. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
RIHO is a project of East Portland Neighbors, a 501(c)3 membership organization for community groups in East Portland.