Grant Brings Two Organizations Together to Help Refugees

Sometimes, two organizations working in the same communities realize that their services can have a greater impact when teamed together. Last year, this was the case for Weld County’s Global Refugee Center (GRC) and Right to Read (R2R).

GRC works daily to establish sustained integration of all refugees and immigrants. R2R provides affordable instruction in literacy, communication skills, and cultural orientation that enable students to become self-reliant.

In 2016, both organizations realized that they had unfilled needs which could be supported by the other group. R2R students were in need of assistance in navigating a myriad of community services in the health, human services, and employment sector. GRC students were in need of educational opportunities and instruction by certified teachers.

The organizations approached the Community Foundation Serving Greeley and Weld County seeking financial support to collaborate. As part of the collaboration, GRC provided case services support and child care and R2R provided education services. The goal of the effort was to streamline services to the immigrant and refugee population in Weld County.

A grant from the Community Foundation’s Howard E. Smith Family Collaboration Grant helped them explore working together in a more strategic way.  They were able to test and improve new service delivery models that brought both groups together. 

Ultimately, what started as a collaborative effort of partnership in service delivery evolved into a full-on merger of the two organizations. Neither organization would have explored this as an option without the benefit of the time and partnership work that the collaborative grant afforded.

Grant that Funded the Program: The Howard E. Smith Family Collaboration Grant

Funding Amount: $10,000

Program Timeframe: May 2016 to May 2017

Program Results:

  • As a result of the collaboration, the organizations chose to merge to become the Immigrant and Refugee Center of Northern Colorado.
  • There was a 21% increase in the number of clients served.
  • There was a 44% increase in the number of clients able to access more than one service in the same location (e.g., ESL students who also began utilizing navigation services or job placement assistance).