A Welcome Mat, or inventory, of services can focus on insuring that English language classes, citizenship classes, legal services around immigration issues, job training and placement, cultural assimilation, and other vital services are provided to ease the transition into a new culture and to assist in day-to-day living. These programs all help foster a sense of community and help immigrants stay and grow in a city.
Metropolitan Detroit has the second largest immigrant population of any Great Lake regional metropolitan area with 365,000 foreign born (8.4% of the regional population). The region has significant Arab-American, Indian-American, Hispanic, Bangladeshi-American, Canadian-American, and Chinese-American populations, in addition to dozens of other immigrant groups. In fact, metropolitan Detroit is home to some of the world’s largest populations of Albanian, Macedonian, Lebanese, Iraqi, and Yemeni, among others, outside of their home countries.
The need for services to support new arrivals and first and second generation descendants is necessitated by American’s growing internationalization. Metro regions across the nation are developing their own Welcome Mat of immigration services to greet new immigrants and help them contribute to their communities.
Through research and interviews, Global Detroit created a Welcome Mat of services and resources available to immigrants in southeastern Michigan. Nearly 50 individual nonprofit immigration service provider organizations were contacted and interviewed. Each organization was interviewed in person from a pre-written 21-page survey.
Visit the Welcome Mat website to find services that match your culture and needs.