Resource Map and Network Creation
Abstract The purpose of this research was to gather relevant information to help fulfill Hopeprintâ€™s mission as well as present the organization with opportunities that may not have been readily available or immediately apparent. The research team consisted of five members of the Public Relations Research class at Syracuse University. The methods used to complete this research included observation and interviews. At the conclusion of our research, our group was able to create a color-coded, pinpointed map highlighting the available resources present in the Northside. Additionally, our group interviewed and gathered information on four local organizations that could serve as potential mentors, partners, or future networking opportunities for Hopeprint.
Resource Map and Network Creation
Introduction Hopeprint is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing education to refugees in the Syracuse area so they can develop the knowledge needed to maintain a sustainable life (“Who we are,” n.d.). Its mission involves “facilitate[ing] sustainable development of local resettled refugees and their communities in the areas of economy, health, leadership, education and justice,” and a vision that encompasses “self-sustained communities with contributing members of society defining the communities where partnership has taken place.” (“Who we are,” para. 3 and 4, n.d.) Hopeprint provides life coaching for the refugee population of Syracuse in addition to programs designed for learning the English language (“What we do,” n.d.). It is also a source of comfort and support during the before nine and after five hours when the problems, questions and concerns of the refugees still very much exist (Watts, 2012). Because this is a newly established organization, there are a couple of pending issues facing Hopeprint and with these issues come implications for future research. The main objectives for the Syracuse University Public Relations Research class included: finding possible sources of funding, assessing future business opportunities to be included in the Northside of Syracuse, and identifying the resources located in this area (Watts, 2012). In order to provide refugees with a sense of community and fulfill Hopeprint’s mission, the refugees must be able to properly access necessities in close proximity to their homes. These necessary supplies include, but are not limited to, food, clothing, transportation, and common household items. As researchers, we planned to travel to the Northside to locate available resources. We also contacted local, likeminded organizations to potentially collaborate with Hopeprint. We attempted to reach out to the
Resource Map and Network Creation
North Side Learning Center, the International Young Scholars program at Syracuse University, the Samaritan Center and the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees. Our ultimate goal was to create a pinpointed, color-coded map that identifies the resources located in the Northside. By raising awareness of the types of resources around the Northside and providing the refugees with opportunities from neighboring organizations, we hoped to create a large stepping-stone toward a sustainable life.
SWOT Analysis Strengths Desire Hopeprint believes that if the refugees were able to harness their full potential, then not only would they benefit, but the city as a whole would be transformed. They strive to help the entire community through their desire to help the refugees break down the barriers of language and culture. (Watts, 2012) Ambition Hopeprint wants to assist the refugee population in anyway and everyway they can. They not only want the help them to get on their feet in their new home, but provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to lead a sustainable life for themselves and their families. (Watts, 2012) Lack of direct competition Organizations exist to assist the refugee population in Syracuse, but most are only focused on the first six months after their arrival. Hopeprint cares about more than that. They want to be the organization that the refugees can turn to post-settlement to assist them in leading a sustainable lifestyle for years to come. (Watts, 2012)
Resource Map and Network Creation
Devoted staff The staff of Hopeprint is involved because they have a sincere passion for the cause. They all have their own jobs and lives outside the organization, but think the refugee population in Syracuse is important enough to warrant their time and effort for the benefit of the entire Syracuse community. (Watts, 2012) Diversity Since Hopeprint is non-denominational and is not affiliated with any specific ethnic group, it enables the organization to help refugees who come from various countries around the world and settle in the Northside. (Watts, 2012) Personal approach Hopeprint makes the refugees feel more comfortable by teaching them English in a casual setting such as having dinner together. This approach allows them to build trust and stronger relationships with the refugee population. (Watts, 2012)
Weaknesses Funding Hopeprint lacks the funding they need to accomplish the broad scope of their mission (Amata, 2010). Extensive Mission Hopeprint seeks to help the refugee population in many capacities. Their mission is so broad that it is difficult to take on with their limited resources. (â€œWho we are,â€? n.d.)
Resource Map and Network Creation Inadequate ratio of staff to refugees There are a limited number of volunteers to accommodate the large refugee population in Syracuse. With approximately 1,000 refugees arriving each year, this ratio will continue to increase. (Amata, 2010) Language barriers The refugee population comes from a wide range of countries, creating an immense language barrier. This results in a difficulty communicating with refugees, as translators are hard to come by and expensive to employ. (Watts, 2012) Undisclosed location The Hopeprint home address is kept private for safety purposes and because they do not have a central public office, the community may be unaware of its existence. (Amata, 2010) New organization It may be hard to attract donors and other organizations to collaborate, because the public often wants to support organizations that are established and know that they can be successful. (Amata, 2010)
Opportunities Increasing refugee population With the refugee population increasing by approximately 1,000 each year, it enables Hopeprint to expand its reach (Amata, 2010). Existing Organizations Most organizations serving the same population focus on settlement (the first six months), while Hopeprint wants to extend help to post-settlement, which means they are
Resource Map and Network Creation
directly filling a need. There are also other organizations in the Syracuse area that could create mutually beneficial relationships such as learning centers, religious organizations and other refugee assistance organizations (Amata, 2010).
Threats Competitive attitude Organizations serving the same population could fear collaboration with Hopeprint because competition for the same funding, volunteers and donors exists (Amata, 2010). Therefore, Hopeprint must attempt to differentiate itself from likeminded organizations. Vulnerability to the economic climate Not-for-profits are susceptible to the rise and fall of the economic climate. Lack of financial stability decreases donor likelihood (Amata, 2010). A decrease in donations could hinder Hopeprintâ€™s ability to expand, and better serve the refugee population. Cultural and physical divide between Syracuse community and refugee population Members of the Syracuse community may feel unmotivated to support Hopeprint because they are disconnected from the culture and location of the refugee population. The Northside is a culturally unique neighborhood that many Syracuse residents avoid and/or do not know about (Watts, 2012). Hopeprint requires the support of the community in order to expand its scope and fulfill its mission.
Resource Map and Network Creation
Research Questions Based on the SWOT analysis of Hopeprint we felt the following research questions would best focus our research and help us to accomplish our objectives:
1: What resources are available in the Northside? 2: Where can the refugees get items they need such as medicine, toiletries, clothing, food, etc.? 3: How can refugees be educated about public transportation options in the Northside? 4: How can Hopeprint build relationships with other community organizations to better serve the refugee population? 5: Are other organizations willing to collaborate with Hopeprint? 6: What can Hopeprint learn from other refugee organizations?
Literature Review RQ1: What resources are available in the Northside? RQ2: Where can the refugees get items they need such as medicine, toiletries, clothing, food, etc.? In order to get a better understanding of the resources that are available to the refugee residents of Syracuse’s Northside, our group examined online articles and documents that talked about various aspects of the Northside. As defined by Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT), a Syracuse-based organization that strives to bring together the many different neighborhoods in the City of Syracuse, the Northside is “the
Resource Map and Network Creation
area bounded by the city’s northernmost line, Teall Avenue, and Routes 81 and 690.” (“Northside TNT five-year plan,” p. 2, 2010). It is the oldest section of the city and boasts a variety of homes, architecture, and historic sites. It is also the most diverse section of Syracuse, given its large refugee population. According to TNT, immigrants looking for a better life have found the Northside to be “vigorous, hospitable, and environmentally pleasant with its several parks and green spaces” (“Northside TNT five-year plan,” p. 2, 2010). We examined TNT’s 5-year neighborhood plan to get a better idea of what the future holds for the Northside and how that can impact the refugees who settle there. A main area that the TNT action-plan discussed was the prevalence of public facilities in the Northside. The public transportation needs of the Northside area are served by CENTRO, a Central New York Regional Transportation Authority Company. There are eight routes that operate in the Northside, meaning that Northside residents have good access to a variety of public bus routes (“Northside TNT five-year plan,” p. 9, 2010). Another important public facility in the Northside is the White Branch Library, which is a part of the Onondaga County Public Library system. Located at 763 Butternut Street, the library is considered a central part of the Northside community area and serves the city’s most racially and ethnically diverse populations, namely the refugees who live in the Northside (“Northside TNT five-year plan,” p. 11, 2010). While refugees may not be able to utilize the library’s vast collection of books and media resources, they can take advantage of the language programs that the library offers. There is an English Literacy Lab in the basement of the library, which serves the needs of those interested in learning or improving their English. This lab also provides English for Speakers of Other
Resource Map and Network Creation
Languages (ESOL) and other citizenship resources in a variety of formats (“Northside TNT five-year plan,” p. 11, 2010). This is a resource that could definitely be used by refugees who may not be able to take part in the English learning classes that Hopeprint offers, or for refugees who are looking to even further their English-speaking abilities. The Northside area also boasts a variety of healthcare resources that refugees can take advantage of. The Syracuse Northeast Community Center (SNCC) has a Facilitated Enrollment program that identifies families and individuals without health insurance coverage and assists these participants in enrolling in affordable health insurance through Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, and Medicaid (“Northside TNT five-year plan,” p. 12, 2010). This can be a valuable resource for refugees who do not have health coverage—and most likely have no idea what healthcare is—when they arrive in Syracuse. The one problem that persists is the language barrier that exists between the refugees and those working for this Facilitated Enrollment program at the SNCC. Another important healthcare resource that exists in the Northside is the St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. St. Joseph’s provides a variety of comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and same day services. It also offers a variety of community programs, such as health fairs, health screenings, and seminars (“Northside TNT five-year plan,” p. 16, 2010). Furthermore, they are very involved in providing access to adequate healthcare services to refugees. According to a 2009 study done by St. Joseph’s Hospital medical adviser Dr. Maritza Alvarado, St. Joseph’s services approximate 30%-35% of the refugee population in Syracuse (Alvarado, p. 12, 2009). Again, the language barrier that exists may inhibit the refugees from taking advantage of these resources, but the medical center is still an important resource for the refugee population. Besides the medical services that
Resource Map and Network Creation 10 the hospital offers, it is also involved in furthering the development of the Northside through a variety of job-creation and workforce development programs. As detailed in a case study done by Kathryn Ruscitto, the hospital’s executive vice president, St. Joseph’s has a long history of employing neighborhood residents, especially members of different refugee communities (Ruscitto, 2011). They are currently undergoing a facility expansion that will create part-time construction jobs for refugees and also will create over 100 fulltime healthcare jobs at the hospital (Ruscitto, 2011). These job-related resources could potentially be very beneficial to members of the refugee population who are out of work. While reviewing other online literature, we found examples of miscellaneous resources throughout the Northside area that could be beneficial to the refugee population. For example, we found an article on the website of Syracuse Grows—a grassroots coalition of individuals, gardens, and community collaborators working to cultivate a just foodscape—that details a garden that was built on Lodi Street in October of 2010. This garden was built by volunteers, including members of the Burundi and Congolese communities, and aims to “provide food growing space to neighborhood residents, including East African refugees living on the Northside” (“SG, City, Alliance,” 2010). This garden not only functions as a potential source of food for refugees, but it can also function as a potential social meeting spot, where refugees can socialize while planting their food. This could be a great community-building opportunity for the refugee population.
Resource Map and Network Creation 11 RQ5: Are other organizations willing to collaborate with Hopeprint? Another research objective of our group was to identity other organizations that Hopeprint could partner with in order to further their mission of providing a sustainable lifestyle for refugees who settle in the Northside. We developed a list of potential organizations that fit in with Hopeprint’s mission and objectives. We then narrowed this list down to focus on three organizations, and reviewed the literature that existed about these organizations. The first organization we identified as a potential partner for Hopeprint was the Northside Learning Center. We think that English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are a vital resource for refugees who settle in America. We examined a 2004 study in which the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Vulnerable Populations Portfolio asked the research firm of Lake Snell Perry Mermin/Decision Research (LSPM/DR) to conduct a focus group study of immigrant and refugee communities in the United States. LSPM/DR conducted 32 focus groups between May 2004 and March 2005 in 10 cities across the United States, speaking both with immigrants and refugees and with people who work with these populations (Garrett, p. 3, 2006). The study found that ESL classes “may be the most valued service for new immigrants and refugees.” (Garrett, p. 6, 2006). This was due to the fact that language barriers are one of the biggest hurdles that refugees face when they arrive in America. Thus we felt as though it would be beneficial for Hopeprint to utilize the resources of the North Side Learning Center. According to the Center’s website, their mission “is to be instrumental in providing adult literacy development, and cultural learning to destitute individuals” (“North Side Learning Center,” para. 1, 2011). Since opening its doors in October 2009, the center has become a
Resource Map and Network Creation 12 vital resource in the Northside community for refugees who settle in the area and are trying to learn the English language. It was detailed in an October 16, 2009 PostStandard article, which noted that within the first week of opening its doors, “forty adults signed up ahead of time for the center’s English classes and they showed up Tuesday evening, as did 26 walk-ins…plus children” (Nolan, para. 2, 2009). Like Hopeprint, the North Side Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization that was started with “money from their own pockets, help from their families and nothing but volunteer labor” (Nolan, para. 4, 2009). The fact that the organizations are structured in such a way means that they would be very compatible in partnering together. Furthermore, the center is located at 808 N. McBride St., above the Family Dollar store, meaning it is within walking distance for much of its target audience (Nolan, 2009). This is important because the refugees have limited personal transportation options, and often are uneducated about the public transportation options that exist. Another organization that could provide valuable educational resources to the refugee population that Hopeprint is striving to serve is the Syracuse University International Young Scholars Program. According to its website, the International Young Scholars program “supports the educational achievement of teenage refugee and immigrant youth and seeks to instill within them the belief that college is attainable” (“International young scholars,” para. 1, 2011). Mentors from the Syracuse University campus meet weekly with students - in both one-on-one and small group environments and provide homework and educational assistance (“International young scholars,” 2011). Mentors are also involved in planning extracurricular activities and designing outings that connect students to campus and the Syracuse community (“International
Resource Map and Network Creation 13 young scholars,” 2011). We believe this would help fill a valuable need that refugees have, which is providing adequate educational opportunities for their children. Immigrant and refugee children are often not prepared for success in U.S. schools. The language barriers that children face and the inconsistent schooling that many children receive prior to coming to America means that immigrant and refugee children fall behind quickly (Garrett, p. 7, 2006). Another frequent problem cited by parents of refugee children is the lack of bilingual teachers and aids, interpreters, and counselors who can work with struggling refugee children to help them advance educationally (Garrett, p. 7, 2006). Finally, parents of refugee often have trouble helping their children with homework assignments because of either a lack of education themselves or a lack of proficient English (Garrett, p. 8, 2006). A refugee resettlement volunteer in Dallas noted, “The homework…they go home, the parents don’t speak the language, so they’re behind the next year” (Garrett, p. 8, 2006). Based on these findings, we believe that the International Young Scholar program would be an extremely valuable resource and potential collaboration partner for Hopeprint. Finally, another potential collaboration partner for Hopeprint that our group identified was the Samaritan Center. The Samaritan Center provides hot, nutritious meals 365 days a year to those who are in need, and anyone is welcome to eat there, as it is a no-questions asked organization (“Samaritan center”, 2011). Furthermore, it is located in the basement of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is within walking distance from the Northside (“Samaritan center, 2011). This allows refugees without transportation options to still access the Center’s services. We believe the Samaritan Center could be a valuable resource for refugees who are in need of food due to financial hardships or a lack of
Resource Map and Network Creation 14 resources to make food for them. Having a stable source of food can be extremely important in helping the refugees develop a sustainable lifestyle, seeing as though refugees often come from places where food is extremely hard to come by. We believe that one of the best features of Hopeprint is the Tuesday night meal they offer to refugees. Establishing a similar program at a place like the Samaritan Center could be very beneficial to furthering the creation of a sustainable lifestyle for the refugee population. RQ3: How can refugees be educated about public transportation options in the Northside? Another research objective our group examined was how refugees can utilize public transportation to get around both the Northside area and the City of Syracuse as a whole. Because many of the refugees who settle in Syracuse do not have automobiles or access to automobiles, it makes it difficult for them to access the variety of resources that exist in both the Northside and in surrounding neighborhoods and communities. We examined numerous studies that detailed the transportation needs of refugees in areas throughout the United States. We again examined the same 2004 study mentioned in the previous section. With regard to transportation issues, the study uncovered the fact that in almost every location, immigrants and refugees reported concerns about their limited transportation options (Garrett, p. 14, 2006). Furthermore as stated above, few own their own cars; those families that are able to afford a car have to share one among many family members (Garrett, p. 14, 2006). This lack of transportation makes it harder to attend ESL classes, or meetings with immigration officials, or appointments with health care providers. Some
Resource Map and Network Creation 15 of the focus group participants suggested that more comprehensive, on-going orientation programs would be beneficial (Garrett, p. 24, 2006). The one-time orientation programs that are normally offered to refugees arriving in American cities only address the basic needs that refugees have when they first arrive. Beyond these initial programs, the focus group participants noted that follow-up programs that have more of a focus on “survivor skills,” such as public transportation systems could be helpful to refugees that have been settled in a city for some time (Garrett, p. 24, 2006). Such potential post-settlement programs would fit right in with Hopeprint’s mission and objectives because Hopeprint is an organization focused on the post-settlement time period. The refugees in this focus group study also said that they did not retain much of the information that was presented in their orientation programs because of the stress they are dealt with when the first arriving in America. One refugee resettlement worker who works for Somali refugees in Portland, Maine, noted, “People need constant orientation. People are not going to retain all this information” (Garrett, p. 24, 2006). Another study conducted in Seattle, Washington by the King County Mobility Coalition also addressed the issue of refugees and public transportation. The Coalition began the Immigrant and Refugee Elders Transportation Project (the Project) after identifying two urgent issues: (1) lack of awareness and knowledge of transportation options for older adults; and (2) transportation challenges of refugees, immigrants and people with limited proficiency in English (“Immigrant and refugee elders transportation project,” p. 2, 2011). While Seattle is a bigger city than Syracuse, and thus has a larger public transportation system, we still felt the results of the study uncovered some findings that could be utilized by an organization like Hopeprint in a city such as Syracuse. The
Resource Map and Network Creation 16 study used the results from nine focus groups, with 120 focus group participants, and two surveys, which were sent out to a sample size of 132 people (“Immigrant and refugee elders transportation project,” p. 2, 2011). The study uncovered four common themes about newly arrived immigrant and refugee elders’ barriers to using public transportation options: (1) lack of travel knowledge, (2) language barriers, (3) financial difficulty and, (4) the importance of community organizations (“Immigrant and refugee elders transportation project,” p. 3, 2011). The participants and respondents offered a variety of suggestions in order to help refugees better utilize public transportation. In terms of learning more about transportation options that exist, many elders noted that they are eager to participate in training workshops with bilingual trainers on how to use the bus. As one elder put it, “Come, train and orient us!” In regards to the language barrier, elders offered many recommendations for addressing language barriers, 21 including access to both oral and written information in their native language. Bilingual trainers, languagespecific workshops, videos in their language, and brochures translated into their native language were some of their ideas (“Immigrant and refugee elders transportation project,” p. 20, 2011). Syracuse has a solid public transportation infrastructure in place. As mentioned previously, the Northside area is serviced by CENTRO, which has eight routes that operate in the Northside, meaning that there is ample access to public transportation for the residents of the Northside. Because of their lack of personal transportation options, such as owning a car, we believe that the refugees would benefit greatly from learning more about public transportation. It would allow them greater access to the resources outlined previously and those that we will identify throughout the course of our research.
Resource Map and Network Creation 17 Hopeprint can utilize some of the methods that were mentioned in the two studies we examined in order to further this objective.
Methods In order to meet our client’s goals and fulfill our objectives, two research methods were utilized. Our chosen methods were observation and in-depth interviewing. Observation Participant observation is the ultimate qualitative method because it helps researchers understand day-to-day activities and behavior of their subjects (DeBolt & Eisenstein, 2012). Informal observation, or simply observing the organizations available in the Northside, was key to the success of our research project because it will enabled us to map out the available resources in the neighborhood (DeBolt & Eisenstein, 2012). To observe accurately, we followed the three steps to conduct observations: (1) understanding work site and environment, (2) observe, remember, record, (3) analyze the data (DeBolt & Eisenstein). Our group served as the observers, while the participants included the neighborhood businesses and their patrons. We visited and were able to familiarize ourselves with the neighborhood to get a sense of the services that are available, discuss our observations and then solidify our findings and decide on organizations to pursue for interviews. Interviewing In-depth interviewing leaders of local organizations provided us with an opportunity to discuss Hopeprint’s desire to establish partnerships with them. It put us in the “driver’s seat” and allowed us to ask questions while also gauging the organization’s interest. To interview effectively, we followed the three-step process: (1) Set the location
Resource Map and Network Creation 18 of the interview (2) Create the interview schedule (3) Analyze the data (DeBolt & Eisenstein). First, we contacted the organizations and set up interview times. Second, one or two of our group members attempted to conduct interviews with the following organizations: Northside Learning Center, International Young Scholars, and The Samaritan Center. Third, we gathered all interview questions in order to help Hopeprint to establish a network.
Research Design The overarching goal of our research project was to create a comprehensive picture of the resources available to the refugees living in the Northside, while opening the door for networking opportunities for Hopeprint. We devised a multi-step research process to allow us to completely fulfill our mission.
Observe the Northside neighborhood and visit its available resources We visited the Northside neighborhood and familiarize ourselves with its culture. Our main objective of the visit was to take note of the stores, businesses and services available to the refugees. We searched for businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, used clothing shops and laundromats.
In-depth interviews with leaders of prospective collaboration partners After our observation of the Northside, we reached out to organizations that may have been willing to help the refugees and promote Hopeprintâ€™s mission.
Resource Map and Network Creation 19 Some organizations we researched and contacted included the Northside Learning Center, International Young Scholars, and the Samaritan Center. The Samaritan Center was the only organization to grant us an interview.
Questions we asked included: §
What types of services does your organization offer?
Has you organization heard of Hopeprint?
How much knowledge does your organization have of the refugee population in the Northside?
Has your organization worked with the refugee population in the past? If so, how? If not, would your organization be interested?
Would your organization be willing to collaborate with Hopeprint? If so, does your organization have any plans as to how to engage the refugee population and execute Hopeprint’s mission?
Reach out to organizations and build network for Hopeprint Our group used the interview responses to determine which organizations desired to collaborate with Hopeprint. After reaching out to these organizations and confirming their interest in partnering with Hopeprint, we determined which organizations Nicole Watts and her team could begin building relationships with in order to facilitate the Hopeprint mission.
Resource Map and Network Creation 20 Create a map of resources available to the refugees Once our research was complete, we designed a color-coded, easy-to-read map that plotted all of the necessary resources in the Northside neighborhood. To create this map, we used the support of Adobe Illustrator and Google Maps. This visual aid benefit Hopeprint in communicating to refugees the availability of resources in the Northside. ** Note: Each method was administered as closely as possible to the procedures described above. We realize that adjustments had to be made to accommodate issues that we encountered as we proceeded with the project.
Results In order to conduct research, our group had to keep in mind the overall purpose of this project, which was to identify available resources in the Northside and to seek out prospective networking partners for Hopeprint. Upon observing the Northside and conducting an interview with a potential collaboration partner, we accomplished our initial objectives. Below, our results are outlined according to our proposed research questions. RQ1: What resources are available in the Northside? The Northside boasts many sources of food that are easily accessible for the refugee population. These resources are comprised of mainly small markets, but a Wegmans is also conveniently situated just a few blocks from the Hopeprint home. Wegmans is a very valuable resource because it can provide fresh produce in addition to other grocery needs, while also making medicine, toiletries, cleaning products and household items easily accessible. Other various resources are also available in the Northside, including can and bottle returns, convenience stores, home goods stores and
Resource Map and Network Creation 21 medical facilities such as hospitals and dentist offices. The main resource lacking in the Northside is clothing stores. RQ2: Where can the refugees get items they need such as medicine, toiletries, clothing, food, etc.? After exploring the Northside, we were able to create a detailed map outlining the available resources and transportation options in the neighborhood. We did this by listing all of the stores and businesses relevant to refugees and recording their various locations. After compiling this information, we used Google Maps and Adobe Illustrator to construct a map depicting available resources and bus routes in the Northside. This comprehensive resource map illustrates food sources, medical resources, convenience stores and other places that may provide some use for refugees. Please see the appendices for the completed map. RQ3: How can refugees be educated about public transportation options in the Northside? The resource map in conjunction with an official Centro bus map can be used to teach the refugees how to use public transportation. For example, Hopeprint could conduct a group trip to any number of places along the CENTRO bus route with the refugees to teach them how to navigate the Northside on their own. RQ4: How can Hopeprint build relationships with other community organizations to better serve the refugee population? Hopeprint must continue reaching out to other organizations like the Samaritan Center, the Northside Learning Center, the International Young Scholars Program and the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees to spread the word about its service, while
Resource Map and Network Creation 22 opening the door to forming relations with them. Hopeprint can do so by following up with the organizations that our group contacted to begin creating its own network. This can lead to partnerships and the sharing of resources down the road. RQ5: Are other organizations willing to collaborate with Hopeprint? As previously mentioned, our group reached out four organizations, three in the greater Syracuse area and one refugee organization from the Utica, New York. We contacted the director of the Northside Learning Center, Yusuf Soule, to see if he would be available for an interview. While initial contact with Yusuf was made, unfortunately his busy schedule impeded our efforts to setup a formal interview with him. Nonetheless, we believe that this organization could certainly be a potential collaboration partner for Hopeprint, given its location in the Northside and its mission to service the refugee population. We suggest that Hopeprint reach out to Yusuf and open a line of communication between the two organizations to see if they could collaborate in the future. We also contacted the International Young Scholars Program (IYSP), based out of Syracuse University. While we were not able to set up an in-person interview, the director of the program emailed us with basic information about that the ISYP does. We’ve listed this information in the appendices. Our group was able to get in contact with the Samaritan Center in downtown Syracuse. We recorded a phone interview with the Julie Gilbert, Resource and Referral Specialist at the Center. Ms. Gilbert noted that they were “more than willing to provide any partnerships or links to other food resources. We don’t see a lot of refugees…but we’re more than happy to help wherever we can. Our doors are always open to everyone.” (Gilbert, personal communication, 2012). She also mentioned that one of the reasons she believes refugees do not come to the Samaritan
Resource Map and Network Creation 23 Center is because of the cultural differences that exist within the refugee population. Based on this discussion with her, we certainly would encourage Hopeprint to reach out to Ms. Gilbert at the Samaritan Center, and possibly discuss cultural options that would allow the Center to incorporate the refugee population into its daily meal service. Finally, we tried to get in contact with the Mohawk Valley Refugee Center for Refugees (MVRCR). The Center is based in Utica, New York and has been very successful in catering to the refugee population there. While an interview was attempted on more than one occasion with the MVRCR, we were unable to get into contact with them. We still feel as though there is much Hopeprint can learn from this organization given their success and similarities to Hopeprint. RQ6: What can Hopeprint learn from other refugee organizations? Our interviews and research on similar organizations revealed many things that Hopeprint can learn from, and in the process further their development as a sustainable non-profit organization. For example, one of the reasons the Northside Learning Center has been so successful is the fact that their missions has been well publicized in Syracuse. Hopeprint should follow suit by rooting itself deeper in the community through word of mouth and advertisements. With that said, we understand that Hopeprint wants to maintain the confidentiality of the house on Lilac Street, so it should establish central offices as the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees has. This way, Hopeprint can be better known in the community while keeping the house private.
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Discussion Key Findings The Northside lacks clothing stores Clothing seems to be the most lacking resource in the area, as it is basically unavailable. Access to clothing is obviously a vital resource, especially in Syracuse where the weather is so unpredictable and varied.
More places for family activities are needed in the Northside Currently, the Northside is not a family-friendly neighborhood. In a span of a few blocks, there are several gentlemenâ€™s clubs, which are neither appropriate nor conducive to family bonding. The Northside would benefit from a park, a movie theater or even a bowling alley to make the neighborhood more family-oriented.
Resources available to Hopeprint outside of the Northside neighborhood and Syracuse Based on the findings of our research, we feel as though Hopeprint may benefit from expanding the scope of its operation. While we understand that the majority of refugees that settle in Syracuse come to the Northside to begin with, we do not believe this should limit Hopeprint from identifying resources and opportunities outside the Northside area. Our observation of the Northside led us to conclude that this area of Syracuse is not very developed and is economically limited. While there are certainly resources that exist within the Northside community that the refugees can take advantage of, we feel as though Hopeprint should not limit itself or the people they serve by only identifying or
Resource Map and Network Creation 25 collaborating with resources within the Northside. Hopeprint may find better and more developed resources and collaboration partners outside of the Northside area.
Hopeprint needs to network to fulfill its mission and broaden its scope Hopeprint should find established organizations that share a similar mission and purpose to themselves in order to develop valuable relationships with them. These organizations could ultimately serve as mentors for Hopeprint. It could also offer an example that could help direct Hopeprintâ€™s goals and objectives and provide for them a framework that helped to create an already-successful organization.
Recommendations We are confident that Hopeprint will fulfill its mission; however, it needs to overcome certain limitations in order to further grow and expand. In the next ninety days, we recommend that Hopeprint implement the following suggestions:
Launch map education program Hopeprint leaders should take the map we made, display it in the Hopeprint home, and begin teaching the refugees about these locations and how to get to them. It also recommended that refugees are taken on several guided trips to stores and businesses via the Centro bus route. In turn, this will help the refugees learn to navigate the Northside.
Resource Map and Network Creation 26 Reach out to aforementioned organizations We laid the foundation for collaboration with other organizations that could be of benefit to Hopeprint. Now, Hopeprint should follow through and continue seeking resources and assistance. Please see the appendices for contact information.
Brainstorm ways to begin campaign for clothing store in the Northside As previously mentioned, there is a limited availability of clothing stores in the Northside and this must be remedied. We suggest that the leaders of Hopeprint begin researching ways to make clothing more readily available in the Northside. This includes finding a location and vendor.
Look into renting additional space for the organization We understand that Hopeprint wants to maintain the safety of the occupants of the Hopeprint home, however, we think that the organization would benefit from having a more public location. Therefore, we suggest that Hopeprint looks into options for an office in the Northside neighborhood. There, Hopeprint could accommodate more refugees for planned programming.
Limitations Throughout the course of this research, we encountered various obstacles that hindered the overall results of our study. We attempted to overcome the issues as best we could. Limitations included:
Resource Map and Network Creation 27 Lack of response and commitment from organizations Despite numerous e-mails and phone calls to leaders at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, we were unable to get in touch with this organization. We were unable to confirm a time for an interview at the Northside Learning Center and the International Young Scholars Program at Syracuse University. The Samaritan Center granted us an interview, but it is still considering whether or not it would like to work with Hopeprint.
Inability to form fuller network for Hopeprint As a result of these constraints, we were unable to provide Hopeprint with the network that we had hoped to construct. However, with more time we feel that we could have conducted interviews and solidified the beginnings of a network.
Resource Map and Network Creation 28 Works Cited Alvarado, M. Community Health Foundation of Western & Central New York. (2009). Refugee health services coordination project. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from http://www.chfwcny.org/Tools/BroadCaster/Upload/Project67/Docs/Refugee_He alth_Services_Coordination_Project_Report.pdf Amata, J. (2010). The refugee response: cleveland burmese refugee community strategic analysis. Unpublished manuscript, Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://www.refugeeresponse.org/upload/documents/Strategic_Analysis.pdf Byrd, M. (2012, March 28). Interview by P. Dominguez [Electronic Mail]. City of Syracuse, Department of Community Development. (2010). Northside TNT five-year plan. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://www.syracuse.ny.us/uploadedFiles/Departments/CommunityDevelopment/ TNT/Northside/TNT 7 Neighborhood Plan.pdf DeBolt, T., Eisenstein, B. (Director) (2012, February 9). Methods of Observing People. PRL 315: Public Relations Research. Lecture conducted from Syracuse University, Syracuse. Garrett, K. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2006). Living in america: challenges facing new immigrants and refugees . Retrieved March 2, 2012, from http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/21623.pdf Gilbert, J. (2012, April 18). Interview by K. Banzer [Telephone]. History. (n.d.). Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR). Retrieved April 19, 2012, from http://www.mvrcr.org/history/ International young scholars. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2012, from
Resource Map and Network Creation 29 http://engagesu.syr.edu/programs/international-young-scholars.html Kings County Mobility Coalition. (2011). Immigrant and refugee elders transportation project. Retrieved February 27, 2012, from http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/kccsnt/pdf/immigrant-and-refugee-elderstransportation-project_summary.pdf Literacy programs. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.northsidelearning.org/literacyprograms/ Mission. (n.d.). Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR). Retrieved April 20, 2012, from http://www.mvrcr.org/mission/ Nolan, M. (2009, October 16). Learning center for refugees opens on syracuse's north side. Syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/10/learning_center_for_refugees_ o.html North Side Learning Center. (2011). Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://www.northsidelearning.org/ Programs and services. (2010, January 10). Retrieved February 23, 2012 from http://www.thesamaritancenter.com/programs.html Ruscitto, K. (2011, January 01). St. joseph's hospital health center: community building/vocational services initiative . Retrieved February 27, 2012, from http://www.caringforcommunities.org/casestudies/social/2011/stjosephshosphlthctr SG, City, Alliance Bank, and refugee community build lodi street garden. (2010, October 04). Retrieved February 25, 2012, from
Resource Map and Network Creation 30 http://syracusegrows.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48:sg -city-alliance-bank-and-refugee-community-build-lodi-st-communitygarden&catid=14:news Soule, Y. (2011). Yusuf soule. Retrieved April 17, 2012 from http://www.northsidelearning.org/about/faculty-staff/yusuf-soule-programdirector/ Swot analysis. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm Watts, N. (Director). (2012, January 26). Hopeprint. PRL 315: Public Relations Research. Lecture conducted from Syracuse University, Syracuse. What we do. (n.d.). Hopeprint. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from http://blog.hopeprint.org/?page_id=1007 Who we are. (n.d.). Hopeprint. Retrieved March 7, 2012, from http://blog.hopeprint.org/?page_id=8
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