A Landscape Scan of Immigrant and Refugee Supporting Organizations in Southeast Michigan

Publication date: 
September 2019

Produced by Public Sector Consultants and supported by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Kresge Foundation and Skillman Foundation, a new report provides data about local, state and federal funding for nonprofits that serve southeast Michigan’s foreign-born populations; analyzed the nonprofits that are on the frontlines of this critical work; and surveyed and interviewed key stakeholders and thought leaders to assess how well the region is equipped to address these populations’ needs.

In reviewing this data, the authors identified four critical issues facing foreign-born individuals in southeast Michigan. They include:

  • Lack of access to services — Foreign-born individuals in our region have a lack access to affordable housing, and face barriers to receiving health care, employment, transportation, and other critical services.
  • Poor public perception — Refugees and immigrants are often viewed through a narrow economic perspective. As a result, conversations about investing in ways to help them adjust to life in our region often overlook the value they bring to our communities.
  • Insufficient funding — Services to support immigrants and refugees have long been underfunded. Recent policy changes have further widened the gap. Federal support to Michigan through the Refugee Cash Assistance and the Refugee Medical Assistance programs has declined, as has the number of refugees receiving support under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
  • Lack of strategic funding focus — Foundations in our region have a long history of supporting services that help our region’s foreign-born population. But, to date, there has been no regional strategy that aims to coordinate this support.

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