Refugee and Immigrant Services

“Welcome” is something LSI has been expressing to refugees since World War II. LSI’s Refugee and Immigrant Services continue to welcome Iowa’s newest neighbors by providing education, family services, and economic development programs to help them get started on their path to citizenship and building a new life in Iowa.

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Bizimana spent years in a Tanzanian refugee camp after fleeing his home country of Burundi, and he dreamed of one day continuing his family’s legacy of farming. When his family was relocated to Iowa, he joined LSI’s Global Greens program. He now grows his favorite foods from Burundi while building his own business.

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Bhakti and Chhali felt overwhelmed when the time came to take their U.S. Citizenship Exam. They worked with volunteers in LSI’s English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and they pushed each other to study hard for the writing and reading component of the exam. Their work paid off and the two recently received their citizenship.

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Born in Somalia, Shaacira’s life was marred by persecution and violence. When Shaacira came to the U.S., she was determined to create a better future. She enrolled in LSI’s English classes and Child Care program, which helps women become licensed child care providers. Today, she cares for three children in her home, allowing mothers to go to school or work.

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300000Dollars in income earned by Global Greens farmers in 2020
157shares sold in the 2020 Global Greens CSA
569former refugees attended LSI's ESL, work readiness, and citizenship classes in 2020

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The Global Greens program serves individuals who were farmers in their home country and want to return to agriculture and food production. Produce from Global Greens is available for purchase every summer at the Global Greens Farmers’ Market.

This LSI program empowers former refugee women as they open small businesses as child care providers.

This program provides connections to community resources, social, and educational activities to help former refugees age 60 and above as they transition to life in the U.S.

We provide classroom instruction and tutoring for former refugees as they prepare to take their U.S. Citizenship Exam.

The Refugee Immigrant Guide (RIG) program supports refugee and immigrant families involved with the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) or Juvenile Court. As a community partnership of four organizations, RIG bridges the gap between families and the courts. Learn more

Pick up a basket of our farmers’ freshest produce every week when you join the Global Greens Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes help individuals learn to speak, read, write, and listen in English, and hone in on American culture and life skills.

Our goal is to help individuals successfully enter the healthcare and hospitality industries. This program partners with local business and community leaders to provide contextualized training that builds refugees’ English communication skills and industry-specific workplace skills.

We work with area financial institutions to support former refugees through matched savings and financial education as they save for purchases — home, auto, business, or school — that will help build their new life in the U.S.

Therapists, interpreters, and multi-lingual community advocates support individual and family goals for mental health care in a clinical setting. Services are designed in an integrated way, considering the mind, emotions, body, health, social support, community service needs, spirituality, lifestyle, and relationships.

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