Report Suggests Giving Refugees a “One Stop Shop”

A new study about refugees resettling in Syracuse, New York, concludes that the city needs a “one stop shop” for the refugee population.

A report being released today by the Onondaga Citizens League suggests centralizing refugee services at a one-stop shop. The study examined Syracuse’s refugee population and resettlement efforts.

One of the recurring themes from both refugees and the people who serve them was how difficult it is to get refugees to the different appointments and classes, said Heidi Holtz, co-chair of the OCL board and director of research and projects for the Gifford Foundation.

Having a one-stop shop would also increase communication between the different agencies and service providers, she said.

I’ve seen this firsthand – many of the refugees and asylum seekers that I’ve spoken to have voiced their frustration at the red tape and seemingly impossible web of doctors, officials, and counselors that they must navigate as new arrivals.

Click through to hear the article, which features the story of Congolese refugee Makene Yelusa:

(David Lassman |

Makene Yelusa from the Congo works on her English skills at the Northside CYO on N. Salina Street in Syracuse Wednesday. (David Lassman |


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