GREENSBORO, N.C. — Dozens standing on the lawn of the Community Enrichment Center cheered Tuesday afternoon as project leaders cut an orange ribbon on the stairs.
The center is a collaboration between Cone Health, UNCG’s Center for new North Carolinians and Phillips Management will help connect immigrants and refugees to community resources.
“Newcomers, immigrants and refugees face a lot of the same barriers other low-income Americans face, and they also face the challenges of language, navigating the new systems to them,” said Lizzie Biddle of UNCG’s Center for new North Carolinians.
The center will provide a nursing clinic, access to mental health services and educational resources.
The center is less than a mile from Morehead Elementary. Biddle explained that the school has a high immigrant population, and the center can help provide tutoring.
“Folks from Sudan, a large Latino community, Central and East Africa, so we’ve heard a lot of positive things,” Biddle said.
Elsir Ahmed, the president of Sudan House, said he came to the US in 1997 and could have benefited from a similar resource as he transitioned into his life here.
“You are ready to be a part of the community, you are ready to integrate, you are ready to learn from the community, but at the same time you have all these barriers,” Ahmed said. “It will make a difference for all the people who are coming here and benefiting from it. And their experience is going to be far more different than our experience.”
The center is asking for books and other educational items for both children and adults.
Project leaders say people can drop off items at the location on North Westgate between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.