The Immigration Services of Lutheran Social Services New Americans assists refugees, immigrants and U.S. citizens with family reunification or achieving the highest legal status. We offer affordable immigration counseling and processing services to refugees, asylees, and others in need.
Imagine waking up every day fearing for your life because of your race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinions. Picture your family in an environment of constant violence and oppression. Envision a daily life with no way to get a job, little to eat and nowhere to send your children for an education. Consider the sense of loss and yearning from being separated from your spouse, brother, sister, parent... for years or even decades.
Refugees don't need to imagine these circumstances; they lived them and dreamed of a chance to start over. They've persevered.
And, following an intense screening process, they've finally gained legal entrance into the United States.
The next step is to find a specific place to begin anew. For some it is North Dakota.
As the state refugee coordinator appointed by the North Dakota Department of Human Services, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota is always ready to help. We've been resettling refugees since 1946 and are proud of how the vast majority have gone on to positively contribute to their new communities and economies.
The Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program of Lutheran Social Services New Americans provides long-term support for youth in a safe and nurturing foster or kinship family to encourage growth toward independence. Through the following steps, we find foster care solutions for refugee youths who arrive in the United States without a parent or adult relative able and willing to care for them.
- Recruit, train, license and support foster parents
- Provide case management services
- Prepare youth for family reunification or self-sufficient adulthood
Services to Elder Refugees
An elder refugee is a person over the age of 60 who has been legally admitted to the United States after fleeing his or her country because of persecution or fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
Services we provide include:
- In-class tutors work under the direction of the lead teacher to facilitate small group discussion and one-on-one time with refugee elders.
- Mentors meet with their elder outside of class – usually at the elder's home – to provide supplemental instruction as well as to participate in community activities. Elder program teachers communicate specific struggles and achievements of the elder so the mentor can focus on what the elder needs most.
- American Friend
- Visit a refugee elder once a week for conversation and aide in facilitating a fun and engaging social meeting for refugee elders, including help in transportation to and from the meeting, assisting in ESL presentations and creating a positive environment for peer interaction.
- Micro Enterprise Development Project
- Elder refugees are involved in a pilot project called "Micro Enterprise project" through the elder refugee program. The elder refugees are making ethnic art work such as scarves, hats, rugs and beaded jewelry with the donated material in hope of selling them in co-op business centers.
- Community Garden
- “Growing Together” new Americans community gardening project is a collaboration between Olivet Lutheran Church and Lutheran Social Services New Americans. This project provides an excellent opportunity for Fargo residents to meet and interact with new Americans as they garden and grow together.
3H Interpreter Services
Our services include on-site interpretation, written translation, message relay, and telephone/conference call. Services are available in the following languages. Contact us with requests as we continue to add interpreters.