Worldwide, there are 59.5 million men, women and children displaced by unthinkable crises around the world.* Since 2001, 750,000 refugees have been resettled in the United States, according to The Economist.
Right now we are focusing on refugees in a community called Clarkston. The UN resettles 2,500 refugees each year in Clarkston, Georgia, a little city on the edge of Atlanta that TIME Magazine called “the most diverse square mile in the country.” At last count, there were 145 countries and 761 ethnic groups living in Clarkston. Sixty languages are spoken in our little square mile. That’s a new language every 100 square feet.
The per capita income here is $17,000. Our suicide rate is above the national average. Jobs are scarce. Clarkston could easily be called a collective of PTSD sufferers since over half our citizens fled here from violence. Many of the refugees flee their country of origin leaving behind all past education or training. Essentially these individuals must leave behind everything and start new here in the US.
This leaves these individuals vulnerable to poverty and in need of government assistance. Our long-term goal would be serving anyone and everyone who is considered someone with barriers to training or careers. Barriers could be economical or geographical.
Only 5% to 10% of resettled refugees in the United States further their education once they arrive.** We want to change this. Over one-half of refugees who have lived in the U.S. for 20 years have limited English proficiency.** We have partners who can help.
*According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, December 2015.
**According to the Migration Policy Institute, June 2015.