• info@global-neighborhood.org
Our work here begins with listening.
There are a variety of ways we could "help" former-refugees as they begin a new life in a foreign place, but we have learned that our own assumptions and motivations might not be as helpful as we think.  "Former-refugee" is a label - it does not begin to describe the unique culture, family situation, personality, passions, and needs that each individual we encounter has to offer.  Every former-refugee we meet has a unique story, both past and present.  At Global Neighborhood, we want to truly listen to these stories and allow our work to be built upon the wants and needs of those we serve.
A job must come first.
To provide former-refugees with relationships and resources is far less helpful without employment.  Former refugees are here to build a new life. They want to be off welfare. They want to support their families. They want stability, growth, dignity, and success. Any job is welcome, but we seek to make their job with us a pathway to empowerment  Through the job training program at Global Neighborhood Thrift, we have the opportunity to get to know them as a unique person, connect them to the surrounding community, and work with their schedules so they can seek educational opportunities.
Holistic development is sustained through education.
Education is another critical element for refugees wanting to build a new life. A job with Global Neighborhood is a vital step; our hope is that it is the first of many steps towards success. However, without English, a driver’s license, computer skills, and a degree of some kind, a person will have a hard time succeeding in America. Global Neighborhood's job training program is designed to not only educate employees for their current work, but to prepare them for the continued career path they desire. We also structure all of our shifts around ESL classes, provide monthly bonuses to employees who attend class regularly, assist with driver’s education and computer skills training, and work with each individual to set goals for ongoing learning.
 Empowerment leads to long term holistic development.
Meeting the needs of those we serve is of great importance to Global Neighborhood, but of equal importance is giving someone the knowledge and resources they need to meet their own needs.  We focus on providing access, opportunities, tools, encouragement, advice, and support rather than charity.  Our mission is to offer opportunities for holistic development to former-refugees, but only if they believe in their own power to continue growing, have we accomplished this goal.
We have much to learn from those we serve.
As an organization that seeks to listen well, learning opportunities are bound to follow.  Each part of our work is a learning process for us - both collectively and individually.  Some lessons are spoken and others are seen in each day's ordinary tasks, but there is always much to learn from the tenacious people we do life with.  Our hope is that as we learn, we will continue to listen for ways we can better ourselves, and better serve former refugees in Spokane.

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