Mayor Coleen J. Seng today announced that Aging Services, a division of the Mayor’s Office, has been awarded a grant of $50,000 per year for three years from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement to fund a New Americans Older Adults Outreach Program. The program will provide three part-time, bicultural/bilingual outreach workers to address the unique needs of older refugees who are new to the United States. The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement received more than 180 proposals. Lincoln’s was one of 30 to be granted.
“Lincoln is proud of its reputation as a major resettlement location for refugees from around the world,” said Mayor Seng. “We welcome these new Americans and want them to succeed in our community. This grant will help us to offer health, nutrition, housing and other services to the older refugees for a longer period of time to help them integrate into the community quicker.”
Aging Services Director June Remington said most public assistance benefits are terminated between seven months to one year after refugees arrive.
“New American families frequently embrace traditional values of caring for their elders, but unfortunately they have few resources to draw upon,” said Remington. “As a result, the older family members are often socially isolated, cannot access medical care, are usually unable to become fully proficient in English due to age and other factors, and they need assistance.” The program will allow Aging Services to provide translation, accompany participants to doctors’ appointments and link families to resources in the community.
Aging Services serves an eight-county area. To implement the project, Aging Services will partner with several other agencies including the Faces of the Middle East Project of the Lincoln Interfaith Council and the Asian Community and Cultural Center.