SYR | HopePrint + the Refugee Community

Danielle Foisy : October 28, 2013 7:46 pm : agents

Approximately 12, 000 refugees currently reside in Syracuse, about 800 arriving each year.  Upon arrival, they have a caseworker for 90 days and for 8 months, receive housing, food, and a small stipend with no questions asked.  However, in New York State, refugees must be employed or enrolled in the JOBS Plus Program actively seeking employment.

HopePrint is a non-profit (donation/volunteer/grant funded) founded 3 years ago after a group of soon-to-be graduates responded to a request of furniture by a Nepali family they had met.  (4 years ago Syracuse saw the largest influx of refugees to date).

Located in the Northside neighborhood (where the majority of the refugee population lives), HopePrint addresses the notion that the greatest need for incoming refugees are relationships.  Programs include ESL tutoring, GED Tutoring. Leadership Development (gather leaders of various ethnic groups to share ideas), Kids Club, collaboration with Northside Urban Partnerships (entrepreneurship start ups).  Also has worked with local middle school to address the bullying of refugee students (of the 100 middle school students, only 3 knew the meaning of refugee).

~5 members of HopePrint live upstairs of the “HopePrint” home (Americans+ previous refugees from the Congo, one recently got job at the hospital, one American was an AmeriCorps Vista – lives at poverty level).  The founders/directors have other jobs to sustain themselves/are continuing their education.  It is somewhat reminiscent of MIUFI in Detroit in that the founders first purchased a home in the community and said they went from “outsiders to neighbors.”

Some questions:

How are the programs advertised?

What is the distribution of Syracuse natives + Refugees throughout Northside?

Participation of native Syracuse community? (kids are involved but what about the adults?  Also harder to reach out to/are working so the extent of interaction of the immediate locals with the refugee community at HopePrint I have seen tends to be sending their children to Kids Club as a form of free daycare, but kids walk to the home themselves)

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