Welcoming Refugees to Boise: Impact, Infrastructure, Integration
Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Mr. Jan Reeves, Idaho Office for Refugees Director I Ms. Traci Harrod, St Alphonsus' Center for Global Health and Healing Health Advisor Coordinator

Boise is one of nearly 200 cities across 48 states that participates in the US Federal Refugee Resettlement Program. Each year, roughly 1,000 international refugees resettle in Idaho, about 70% in Boise. After severe hardships in their homeland, these refugees seek to create a new life by resettling in Idaho, encountering a range of opportunities and challenges unfamiliar to most of us.

Newly arriving refugees receive an initial health screen and up to eight months of federally funded financial and medical assistance. They are required to participate in English and job readiness classes to promote self-sufficiency, and are expected to find employment as soon as possible; all while recovering from circumstances that led to their displacement. A growing refugee community in Boise and Idaho after 40 years of resettlement has given us new Idahoans with perspectives, talents and diversity that adds international flavor, but also brings impacts and infrastructure pressures that comes with any population growth.

The Idaho Office for Refugees, directed by Mr. Jan Reeves, is a leading agency in this effort, working with federal, state, and city programs to help incoming refugees successfully establish themselves and integrate into the community.

Saint Alphonsus' Center for Global Health and Healing addresses continuing needs of families resettled in Boise. Ms. Traci Harrod, as the Center's Health Advisory Coordinator, coordinates a program that offers transition support, guidance, and medical assistance to refugee families beyond their initial eight months of federal assistance.

Chair: Richard Newman
Moderator: Dr. Jim Weatherby