Over 80 people attended a program on refugees at the Robert H. Jackson Center Thursday night.
The event was hosted by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the New Neighbor Coordinating Committee, and featured members of refugee resettlement organization, Journey’s End. It was the first public discussion on issues around resettling people forced to leave their home country.
Journey’s End CEO Karen Andolina Scott said Thursday was the first formal meeting between her organization and the New Neighbor Coordinating Committee. She said they’re still in the information gathering stage of the process of looking into making Jamestown a refugee resettlement community, “But we loved everything that we had to hear today. It seems like the community is really excited about this and also taking it very seriously, which we appreciate. We did acknowledge some of the challenges in the refugee resettlement program which is always really helpful as well that people aren’t expecting something that the program isn’t.”
Scott said conversations still need to happen with Journey’s End national office and with New York State, “And then really thinking about the practicalities of, are there apartments ready and available for us that we could use? Is the school district ready? Are there community partners here that would be willing to share in this work? And then, what do we think the client will look like who will be really successful here? Is it the single clients? Is it large families? Is it someone with a particular medical need that maybe Jamestown has great facilities in helping to service.”
Scott said it was wonderful to see so many people come out for the event who are passionate about moving the process forward.
The full presentation will be re-broadcast on 107.9 WRFA at 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 1 and at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, April 3.