Welcome Mat Guide to Immigration and Cultural Services New and Improved

By Steve Tobocman

In case you missed the event September 24th, Metro Detroit now possesses perhaps the most powerful and comprehensive online searchable database for immigrant and refugee integration and cultural services in the nation.  The re-launch of the Welcome Mat Detroit online database accesses the service offerings of over 400 local nonprofit organizations in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties alone.

The new stand-alone website vastly improves upon the original Global Detroit Welcome Mat created in 2010.  It updates the information for all of the original organizations chronicled by Global Detroit and adds over 350 new nonprofit organizations.  Moreover, the website includes helpful icon sign-posting, as well as a Google translator to expand access to communities and users who are less than English proficient.  The database allows searches by services, language, culture, and location.

The Welcome Mat Detroit guide enables international corporate executives, international students, immigrants, and refugees access to connecting themselves, their relatives and families, and other internationals to Metro Detroit’s vast array of immigration services and cultural activities.  The guide includes listings for 79 organizations providing some form of business assistance, 13 organizations providing citizenship classes, 59 organizations providing English language classes, 30 organizations providing employment services, 86 organizations providing immigration legal advice, and nearly 100 organizations providing foreign language classes, arts and cultural activities, and food, as well as more than a dozen other services.

The Welcome Mat Detroit guide is a critical and foundational asset in our region’s welcoming of internationals, immigrants, and refugees.  It signals that the region is serious about insuring that newcomers are able to access the services they and their families need to integrate into Metro Detroit.  Southeast Michigan is proud to be the home of some 400,000 foreign-born persons, by far the second largest international population in the Midwest after only Chicago.  With the re-launch of the new and improved Welcome Mat Detroit online guide, as well as the other half dozen Global Detroit-launched initiatives, Metro Detroit is making a strong case for being the most welcoming metro area in the nation, bar none.

Congratulations and thanks go to Welcome Mat Detroit Director Mary Lane, the support of ACCESS and the International Institute of Metro Detroit, the Welcome Mate Detroit Advisory Board, and Global Detroit’s own Kate Brennan for their tremendous work at making this happen.  Truly an incredible resource for our region.

You can (and must) check out the Welcome Mat Detroit guide here.

Ania Bieciuk, Constituent Relations Specialist, Executive Office of Governor Rick Snyder presents Proclamation for Welcome Mat Detroit Launch to Welcome Mat Detroit Director Mary Lane

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