Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment

April 2022

RISE welcomes refugees and immigrants seeking support services, counsel, and advisement regarding their new life in the United States. We address systemic issues that newly arrived refugees and immigrants face, including a lack of resources, marginalization, and discrimination.

Many families and individuals are assisted by RISE. Some use our refugee resettlement services, while some utilize our post-resettlement support services.

For all these people we advocate in any way necessary: assistance with paperwork, translation and interpretation, referral to immigration lawyers who work with our organization, orientation and connection to local social services, English language skills development, employment services, youth programs, care management for health issues, case management and much more. Our mission is to support a healthy and positive start to life in the United States and in our local community.

We work hard to remove obstacles for a smooth transition and assimilation. Our recently resettled Afghan brothers and sisters are successfully settling into their new lives, and we continue to be here whenever they need us.

We assist with programs and services that support their path toward self-sufficiency.  We want to be sure that they can provide for themselves and their family, their children are educated, they can purchase a car or utilize public transportation, grow their own food through our agriculture program, and the dream of becoming a homeowner can one day be realized.

As we follow the plight of the Ukrainian people and the suffering they are enduring, please know that our programs and services are in place to provide support with open arms upon their arrival. 

With our community’s help and commitment, we will locate permanent housing and connect them to much needed services. The donations of furniture, clothing and housewares enables us to make their new house a home. And who wouldn’t appreciate a warm welcome, wherever they may begin their journey as a New American?

Please consider registering and joining us for the Night of Nations virtual event on April 28th, becoming a sponsor or donating today. Every contribution is life changing.

– Haji

SyRAP Agricultural Program 

SyRAP is a training program for refugees who are interested in starting their own farming business or acquiring farmland. Farmers go through three years of ESOL, agriculture, gardening, marketing, and business training before they lease or buy land on their own. 

​There are two facets to the SyRAP Program: the Community Gardens and the Incubator Farm. One of the biggest challenges facing refugee farmers if access to transportation and land. To solve this problem, SyRAP has two community gardens located on the Northside of Syracuse that are near the farmer’s homes. The locations are 120 Seward St. and 2033/2035 Lodi St. The Lodi Street Garden also doubles as a Farmer’s Market to train SyRAP farmers how to sell products to consumers. 

SyRAP farmers additionally have access to an Incubator Farm at the Salt City Harvest Farm in Kirkville, NY, where they are then able to farm on individual 1/4 or 1/8 acre plots. These plots not only increase the growing capacity of the farmers in SyRAP, but it also allows farmers to experiment with specialty crops from their home countries to see how well they grow in the Syracuse climate.

Education Initiatives – Adult ENL Classes

RISE is now offering adult ENL classes on the Northside!  We are very excited by this new opportunity to reach additional members of the community.  Allowing more locations for students to attend classes removes barriers to access for education and helps to ensure RISE is working towards equitable education for our clients and community.  One of the most challenging aspects of life in a new country is not being able to effectively communicate, utilizing these classes RISE is providing an essential service for new Americans to support their pursuit of happiness.

Northside classes are offered from the White Branch Library located at 763 Butternut Street on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 AM to 2 PM

Southside classes are offered from RISE’s South Office at 302 Burt Street on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 AM to 2 PM.  

Please contact our ENL instructor, Megan at meganlawlor@refugeeandimmigrant.org or call RISE at 315-214-4480.