To build a strong multicultural community in the Mystic Public Housing Development by:
- diminishing racism
- empowering the refugee and immigrant communities
- creating opportunities for residents of diverse backgrounds to work together to improve the living conditions at Mystic.
What Do We Do?
The Welcome Project is comprised of five components:
- community organizing
- youth development
- economic literacy
- economic justice advocacy
To facilitate learning bilingual staff and volunteers conduct many of the programs in participants native language.
The Community Organizing components strives to develop mutual support and leadership among residents in order to improve living conditions. The Development Improvement Task Force, Vietnamese, Haitian, and Latina women's group, and the community garden are all part of community organizing.
component is key to the Welcome Project success. For tenants who face barriers due to language and wish to improve their English, the Welcome Project offers English as a Second Language class. Students increase their proficiency in English by discussing community concerns and issues in class. Tenants who would like to become U.S. citizens are encouraged to take civics classes at the Welcome Project to help them meet the requirements for citizenship while giving them an understanding of their local political system and their role in it.
The Youth Development component works with Mystic youth (6-16) providing support for teens and homework help for children. Teens are provided with the support and skills they need to lead healthy, productive and satisfying lives. Through peer leadership training the Welcome Project encourages self awareness, cultural pride, self esteem, community involvement and academic success. In addition, the organization provides opportunities for youth to develop skills in conflict resolution, decision making and leadership.
The Economic Literacy components lends assistance to Mystic residents striving to raise their standards of living through education and employment. Program activities include job search group, career presentations, and community workshops on topics such as gaining credit, home buying, or starting a small business.
The Economic Justice Advocacy components assists residents in accessing services and benefits. Each year the Welcome Project advocates for more than 200 families. Through this effort, the Welcome Project is able to identify systematic barriers to access and engage the appropriate policy makers in efforts to eliminate barriers.
For more information, visit the Welcome Project website at: