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Recently-arrived refugees in Detroit are getting a head start on resettlement thanks to Samaritas, Human-I-T, and GM. For 72 years, Samaritas has served refugees by helping them become self-sufficient within one year of arriving in the U.S.

On Thursday, 115 new Americans received a laptop computer, home internet, and free tech support to help their resettlement. The donations were made possible through a partnership with Human-I-T. GM provided financial support as part of their efforts to create inclusive and sustainable communities.

“Resources are limited so this is going to be a huge help for our refugees, especially for Afghan immigrants because we will see such a large number in a short period of time. This event will help open the world to our New Americans to access online English classes, manage their family budget, search for jobs, get school information for their children, and so much more,” said Mihaela Mitrofan, East Michigan Director of the New Americans Program at Samaritas.

The reception, hosted in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood, provided a warm welcome for families who fled the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. The neighborhood’s relatively-affordable homes, as well as its Muslim cultural institutions and community networks, makes it attractive for refugees in Detroit. In fact, one-quarter of all newly-arriving refugees in Detroit in recent years resettled in Warrendale.

Human-I-T and Samaritas are ensuring refugees in Detroit can achieve their full potential in their new home

Refugee families will also receive housing placement, cultural orientation and language training, medical case management, and assistance enrolling in school and finding employment. Samaritas has shown that over 75% of refugees are self-sufficient within six months of their arrival. “This partnership between GM, Human-I-T and Samaritas is directing resources in a unique way to an incredibly deserving group of people,” said Terry Rhadigan, vice president of Corporate Giving at GM. “We are excited to play a part in welcoming our new neighbors into the Detroit community.”

Additionally, these refugees will be able to use the free laptops and monthly internet service provided by Human-I-T to connect with loved ones and access services during resettlement. According to Human-I-T, within six months of receiving a laptop, half of recipients use their computer to learn a new skill, while 1 in 3 lands a new job. Since 2020, Human-I-T has supplied more than 13,750 Detroit families with a home computer and assisted nearly 2,500 households with getting low-cost internet. By partnering with community-based organizations and schools like Samaritas, Human-I-T promotes digital equity and works to shrink digital divide.

Gabe Middleton, CEO of Human-I-T said: “Even as conflicts divide and displace people around the world, we can be a force for good here at home. At Human-I-T, we’ll continue to shrink all divides to create a world where everyone can access opportunities online. We’re grateful for our partnerships with Samaritas and GM and we look forward to supporting all Detroit residents to unlock their full potential.”

Lo Terry

About Lo Terry