The International Institute of New England has been welcoming newcomers and resettling refugees for 105 years. We are fortunate to work and partner with many exceptionally welcoming New England cities, including Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts, and Manchester, New Hampshire, where our offices are located. In each city, we work with employers, community volunteers, non-profit and education partners, landlords, city staff and leadership, and other stakeholders to build an ecosystem of support for newly arriving refugees and immigrant populations.
This work is hard. The refugees and immigrants we are serving are persecuted populations who have often been displaced many times before even arriving in our communities. They have risen above devastating circumstances, and their needs are high. Our communities are increasingly more and more expensive, and our talented staff is stretched thin trying to support the great need of a great many people.
What makes our mission possible is the strength of our relationships – with clients and the community. We are eternally grateful for our community volunteers, our employer partners, our landlord partners, and our cities’ leaders—Mayor Michelle Wu in Boston, Mayor Sokhary Chau in Lowell, and Mayor Joyce Craig in Manchester. With them as partners, we work together with the challenges of city life to find the best solutions for receiving communities and incoming communities alike.
Just yesterday, Manchester’s Mayor Craig reminded us of how important working together toward community well-being is to her administration. We are all working through housing challenges that have impacted refugees in the Manchester community. Safe and affordable housing is a cornerstone to our work, and we are grateful for both the private rental community and the city partnerships that allow us to strive toward that goal each day.