VISTA Impact: Making Louisville a Compassionate City for Refugees

The ‘Where Louisville Meets the World’ AmeriCorps VISTA project has members at ten unique organizations in the Louisville Metro area, one of which is Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM). Two VISTA members build capacity within this refugee resettlement agency by developing a cultural mentorship program and identifying affordable housing opportunities for newly arriving refugees.  These key elements – shelter and human connection – provide KRM clients with the foundation they need to start new lives in Louisville. In the past year, our members have recruited and managed hundreds of volunteers who mentor youth, elders, and families. Additionally, KRM VISTAs helped more than 300 refugees find homes by supporting housing inspections, creating multilingual documents to facilitate conversations between refugees and landlords, and mapping languages in different zip codes to determine ideal placement. The resources developed by these members allow refugees to attain self-sufficiency within the first year in their new home. As the global climate surrounding the refugee crisis continues to be plagued by chaos and hostility, our VISTAs act as a critical piece of what makes Louisville an international, compassionate community.

Hannah O., Laura, Hannah T., and Sean joined the project this summer.
(From left to right) Hannah O., Laura, Hannah T., and Sean joined the project this summer. Hannah T. and Sean both serve at KRM.

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