Each year hundreds of legal refugees and legal immigrants are resettling in the Northwest, seeking safety and a chance at a new life. Through a partnership with Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and the Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW), WPU was honored to surround refugees with welcome and support during one of the hardest times in their lives. A recent resource fair held on our campus provided avenues for refugees and immigrants to become self-sufficient, thriving members of their new communities.

Through a combination of attendees and vendors, more than 700 people gathered to provide local resources including help with legal services, education, medical help, employment and culturally specific networks stemming from such partners as CareOregon, Easter Seals, the Department of Human Services, the Afghan Support Network and many more. Most attendees originated from Afghan, Somali and Ukrainian communities and many families brought young children. In addition to services, organizers arranged for special crafts and games for kids, as well as cultural performances, to ensure the event was a positive experience for the whole family.

“We were treated to Cambodian, Burmese, and Eastern European traditional dances, as well as Eastern European and Middle Eastern instrumental concerts,” said Morgan Anderson, WPU Event Coordinator. “People not only received critical help to start their lives but were celebrated in ways that joyfully honored their cultures. We were so pleased to play a role in providing a welcoming, supportive place to connect.”

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