The Long Welcome

Our Vision: To see refugees and our community model thriving together.

In 2019, we set out design a roadmap to help every single refugee family in our community thrive. We researched best practices from around the country, we listened to our community partners and we learned from experts. Then, together with our refugee families, we designed the Path to Thriving, a plan to help refugees move from survivors to citizens.

The End Goal: across generations, all family members are full contributing members of our community.

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Everything else here is what we needs to be done if we want to achieve our vision of helping refugees thrive. And most of this isn’t in place yet— we’re going to have to build it out together.

This first column ^^ is all that’s covered by a traditional refugee resettlement program. It’s what we were set up to do and it’s the bulk of what we’ve been doing.


The Gaps

WE’ve identified three main areas where canopy needs to develop new services, programs and partnerships in the next 3-5 years:

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Economic advancement:

  • Education, training and career advancement

  • English language acquisition

  • Entrepreneurship support and microenterprise funding

  • Asset building

Youth and children:

•Academic and language support

•Interface between parents and schools

•Youth mentorship

•Career and college readiness for youth exiting school

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social connection and civic engagement:

•Mentorship

•Ongoing navigation and case management

•Access to health and health literacy

•Leadership development and civic engagement


The Plan

Phase 1: May-September 2019
Stabilize, Assess and Plan

  • Prioritize new programs to pilot: Conduct needs assessment, meet with community partners, evaluate opportunities and challenges and decide what gaps need to be tackled first.

  • Design programs w/ client direction: Work alongside our refugee families to set program objectives, design activities and identify partners.

  • Secure funding: Write grants and fundraise.

Phase 2: October 2019-March 2021
Pilot New Programs

Youth & Children’s Services: Coordinate with schools and parents to ensure students are succeeding academically and plugged into meaningful social and athletic extracurricular activities; Oversee our after school tutoring and mentorship program; Prepare youth preparing to exit high school for college or careers.

Integration Case Management: Provide continuing navigation assistance to families in areas such as housing, public assistance, health, transportation, English and cultural orientation. Organize ongoing training workshops to help families continue to grow in their knowledge of US laws, culture and local resources.

Career Pathways: Help refugees who have been in their current jobs 6 months or more to get connected to the training and education they need to obtain jobs with long-term career advancement potential. Provide additional support in the areas of transportation, computer literacy and financial literacy.

Asset Building & Entrepreneurship: Help families learn how to save for their children’s education, for retirement or towards buying a house; Provide coaching and access to capital for refugee entrepreneurs.

Phase 3: March 2021-March 2022
Evaluate & Secure Funding

Evaluate programs and client integration progress: Evaluate success of programs in meeting stated objectives; Evaluate overall success of the Path to Thriving in helping families move towards deeper integration and thriving.

Amend Path to Thriving as needed: Use evaluation data, client feedback and community partner feedback to refine and amend our Path to Thriving; Update based on latest research and best practices from across the country.

Secure sustainable funding: Identify and apply for grants with long-term renewable funding; Secure funding through robust fundraising and development plan.

Phase 4: March 2022-October 2022
Establish & Grow

Increase capacity to serve as many as 500 refugee and immigrant clients annually for up to 5 years after arrival