IMH assists refugees and immigrants with numerous support services including life skills courses, the legal requirements and consequences of US residency and citizenship, and English as a second language. Recent refugees and immigrants, in particular, often have no previous exposure to or experience with US culture, the high level of technology within our culture or the fast-paced lifestyle. IMH staff provide extensive training, education and knowledge on how to utilize basic tools that residents take for granted, the nuances of navigating within American culture, the differences within the legal system and personal responsibility, maintaining a US household, and more.
IMH recognizes that language is verbal, written, and cultural. Subsequently, we provide language and cultural training to hundreds of men and women annually, and advocate for the many new refugees who cannot yet navigate American bureaucracy for themselves. IMH has a successful track record understanding and overcoming cultural differences within refugee and immigrant communities, preserving individual pride and heritage while showing results for individuals and for the community.
Most documents throughout the United States are developed in English and Spanish, leaving thousands if not millions of refugees and immigrants at a disadvantage. IMH steps in to translate many of the refugee languages when others, are unable to or do not. For example, initially, only two to three languages were utilized for ACA enrollment, though this has improved recently. Although the it is known well in advance which ethnic groups are arriving, and subsequently which languages will be required, there is little to no effort to meet this need. IMH promotes the information that is available and how to find it. IMH Community Leaders offer extensive assistance with this service, providing 10 different language translations throughout the community.
IMH provides comprehensive academic support that ensures students are given the best opportunity for success.
1) Tutoring and homework support is provided on a daily basis within the after-school program. IMH after-school staff identify students who are having trouble with their schoolwork, difficulty in class assessments or struggle to adjust to their school culture;
2) Central IMH staff act as school liaisons to conduct follow-ups with students, especially those having trouble with adjusting to school, and work with parents who may not understand the way the school system works or speak English;
3) IMH staff follow-up with parents to assist them to navigate the school system;
4) Daily sports activities, teams and training with students builds self-confidence and community/school involvement.
5) Music activities encourage creative connection to self and community.