The YMCA’s New American Welcome Centers (NAWC) support immigrants—also referred to as newcomers—through integration services, community partnerships and strategies to build cross-cultural understanding. Currently, our Y has NAWCs at the St. Paul Eastside (Refugee Hub Centers in partnership with the State of MN and Metro Refugee Serving Agencies), Blaisdell (Refugee Hub Centers in partnership with the State of MN and Metro Refugee Serving Agencies), Burnsville, River Valley, Emma B. Howe (Refugee Hub Centers in partnership with the State of MN and Metro Refugee Serving Agencies), Ridgedale, and University YMCAs. Below are some of the programs offered throughout the Twin Cities.

  • Eastside YMCA: offers Guadalupe Alternative School partnership to provide vital employment training; shadowing opportunities for jobseekers to gain work experience and skills; private, women’s only group exercise classes; ForeverWell classes taught in Hmong. 
  • Ridgedale YMCA’s Day Camp Christmas Tree: hosts Spanish Immersion Camp with all instruction and programming conducted in Spanish, including hiking, canoeing, swimming, cooking and exploring. 
  • Blaisdell YMCA: partners with the Lyndale Neighborhood Association to provide the Women’s Leadership Program for Latina and Somali/African women to develop community leadership skills. 
  • Burnsville YMCA: engages and supports the emerging Somali community through a Somali Cultural Liaison on the team
  • Eastside, Burnsville, and Ridgedale YMCAs: developed an Immigrant Youth Program this summer to engage newcomers in our community

The New American Welcome Centers created several years ago provide specialized support and resources for our new immigrant populations. The services include social services, employment referrals, medical assistance and more. As a socially responsible organization, the Y of the North will continue to promote social justice and serve our most vulnerable populations. We have expanded our services due to additional state funding.

YMCA Refugee Hubs and Resettlement Network Services

The YMCA engages newcomers to our community through three Refugee Hubs and Resettlement Network Services

YMCA Refugee Hubs

YMCA Refugee Hubs serve as one-stop shops for newcomers in the community, providing them Resettlement Network Services (RNS). Support provided in these Hubs includes:

  • Helping individuals and families to resolve immediate needs.
  • Finding employment and offering support during the initial period of employment and career improvement.
  • Providing long-term guidance and coaching to meet academic or career goals.
  • Helping newcomers adjust to life in America through free classes on how to use public transit, how to help children prepare for college, and many other areas.
  • Providing low-cost legal help and status change applications for permanent residency and citizenship.

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, services are currently only available virtually.

YMCA Refugee Hub locations

Blaisdell YMCA
3335 Blaisdell Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Emma B. Howe YMCA
8950 Springbrook Drive NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
Eastside St. Paul YMCA
875 Arcade St. N
St. Paul, MN 55106

 

Please contact for more information and support:

Ali AlGhafilee
Family Support Specialist
YMCA of the North
ali.alghafilee@ymcamn.org
(612) 465-0596

Resettlement Network Services

In partnership with the State of Minnesota’s Refugee Program Office, Resettlement Network Services are provided through YMCA Refugee Hubs located in the Twin Cities metro area. These services are designed to help immigrants, who are referred to as newcomers, fully integrate into American society and to prepare receiving communities to be welcoming and inclusive.

Resettlement Network Services include the following:

  • Family Assisters: Family Assisters case managers work with families to resolve immediate needs and connect them to community resources to strengthen those families’ wellbeing. View Family Assisters Brochure
  • Immigration Specialists: Immigration specialists support people via legal services on their path to become U.S. citizens.
  • Employment Specialists: Employment specialists assist families in securing and maintaining employment.
  • Family Coaches: Family Coach case managers mentor families about vocational pathways and employment goals.
  • Community Orientation: The YMCA and its consortium partners provide education for refugees’ integration, such as getting involved in their new community, understanding public transportation and more.

If you are interested in accessing Family Assister services, please complete the Family Assister Referral Form.

For general questions, please email refugee@ymcamn.org or call (612) 322-6870.