Community Integration

NSC provides comprehensive post-resettlement services to newly arrived individuals and families through group work and ethnic community building projects.   These efforts afford newcomers with opportunities to connect, integrate and foster community building towards the goal of enabling refugees the opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency and feel they can become contributing members of our community. Our post-resettlement services are as followed:

Community Gardens

One key to this effort is linking newly arriving refugees to urban farming opportunities at community gardens.  The gardens enable refugees the opportunity to offset food budgets by growing their own food from March to October, put down roots in their new community and begin to work in cooperation with the neighbors, and offer opportunities to learn new skills and explore urban farming as a career opportunity.   The Growing Home Garden, located at 8th and Emily streets, opened in 2011 to refugees from Myanmar and Bhutan and has since grown to include 107 plots.  The Growing Together Garden, located at 25th and Reed streets, opened in 2015 and facilitates community connections between refugees and their neighbors.

Visit the Community Garden Blog

For more information, check out the stories below:
National Geographic
Welcoming Refugees

Vocational English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes

Many newcomers arrive with little or no English. Our Vocational ESL classes prepare clients to speak, read and write English while simultaneously developing their job skills through job readiness and U.S. workforce culture lessons. This class has demonstrated effectiveness in preparing clients for interviews and on-the-job training.  Once monthly vocational field trips assist clients in orientating to their new environments and learning to navigate Philadelphia’s public transit system, which provides access to resources and opportunities throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area. English literacy cooking classes and therapeutic arts groups supplement clients' vocational preparation for employment through creative learning methods.

Status Adjustment and Family Reunification

Led by a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accredited Representative, we provide clients with pro bono legal assistance in applying for green cards and filing relative petitions, helping clients transition to legal permanent residency and reduce the burdens that arise by being separated from loved ones. All of our enrollees are authorized by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work in the United States indefinitely.

Other Services

Our program links clients to a constellation of community partners including arts and cultural groups, health and wellness programs, educational and employment opportunities.  Further support is provided through job counseling as clients maintain their employment and participate in career development planning. Our case management and employment teams work together to regularly follow up with employers about the progress of clients and check-in with clients at 1 week, 30 days and 3 months to provide on-going support.