comm garden1 500

OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/15/13) – Now in its fourth year in Owensboro, a long-running agency focused on helping international refugees find a second chance in western Kentucky has relocated more than 300 people so far and plans to help as many as 50 more families this year.

Located on 9th St. near Frederica St. in Owensboro, the satellite office of the Bowling-Green based agency Western Kentucky Refugee Services consists of a staff of between four to six people, and several of those were refugees themselves. Martha Little, Site Director for the local center, said it’s important to have people who have been through the situation on staff because it helps them find and encourage others who can benefit from the opportunity of relocating.
 
Little said the agency works closely with the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to identify candidates who would be a good fit for relocating in the Owensboro area. She said the agency uses several criteria to select candidates.
 
“A lot of the people we review have been in refugee camps for years,” Little said. “They are getting away from civil war and poverty. They need a place where they can grow. We don’t take these people and direct them. We help them become self-sufficient.”
 
Little said before the refugees relocate, they have typically begun or completed citizenship in the U.S.
 
A case worker on Little’s staff, David Min, came to the U.S. from Malaysia two years ago, and now works to help other refugees from his native region.
 
“I’m not a refugee anymore,” Min said as he talked with SurfKY about the agency.

comm garden2 500
Another former refugee on Little’s staff, Ema Da, has been in the region for more than five years after leaving Thailand when he was 21. One of the hardest things to do for many refugees, the men said, was to leave their families behind. Some of them still have family in the refugee areas they escaped from. They said it isn’t uncommon for a husband or a wife to leave his or her spouse and children behind to come to the U.S. with the hope the rest of the family will be able to follow.

On June 22, Refugee Services will host a “Refugee Day” event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bellevue Baptist Church. Little and others on her staff said the center is in need of a variety of items, clothes, and volunteers on a regular basis, and the event will provide an opportunity for people who want to learn more about the program.
 
The center currently partners with several local groups, including Bresica University for office space and Audubon Area Community Services for assistance with other related needs. The agency is a 501c3 facility. It’s headquarters operation in Bowling Green has been helping refugees relocate for about 30 years.

Visit www.immigrationrefugeeservices.org for more information about the International Center of Bowling Green and Owensboro.

Dennis Beard
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Nathan Johnson

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Central City Crave Movement Makes Impact in Louisville

CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (1/30/15) — Little more than a year ago, Crave Central was a dream of several young people in Central… Read More

Man Charged for Trafficking in Methamphetamines

HENDERSON, Ky. (1/30/15) — According to a Henderson Police Department report, on Jan. 30, 2015 the HPD, in conjunction… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 17668

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 8396

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 8022

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 28, 2015 6934

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 6021

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 5892

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 5689

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 28, 2015 5567

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 22984

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 22608

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 30, 2015 4441

Woman Arrested for Allegedly Attacking Police…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 31, 2015 4150

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 30, 2015 3979

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 1297

Lt. Gov. Luallen, Housing, Veterans Officials…

in General News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 30, 2015 1294

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 30, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 30, 2015 1281

Hopkins County Sheriff's Arrest Reports - Jan.…

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 30, 2015 1192

No One Left Behind: The Story of 'Sarge'

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Aug
January 30, 2015 1154

Central City Crave Movement Makes Impact in…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 30, 2015 1134

Whitfield Works for Protection of U.S. Waters…

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
January 30, 2015 1092

WKWIB, GRADD, Owensboro's RAE Get Workforce Grants

in General News For All Sites by Kim Brannock
January 30, 2015 969

Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter SAR Honors Former…

in General News For All Sites by Geoff Baggett
January 30, 2015 948

Madisonville Fire Reports – Jan. 30, 2015

in Hopkins News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News