Manchester-based refugee group says it's too early to expand to Seacoast
City Manager Michael Joyal said the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS) — which is based in Manchester — recently sent an email to let city officials know that the organization had reconsidered a plan to resettle refugees in the area after determining there wasn’t “widespread community support.”
As a result, Joyal said the city invited representatives from ORIS to meet with officials from Dover, Rochester and Somersworth during an Aug. 13 meeting.
Soon afterwards, Joyal said ORIS sent another email stating it would have to cancel the meeting, but representatives could meet with officials in the future.
Officials from Rochester and Somersworth could not be reached for comment on the matter.
A partial explanation for the cancellation was included in a release by the city, which is posted on www.dover.nh.gov.
Idhow said the “ethic-based agency” — which was previously the Somali Bantu Community Association (SBCA) — has been helping legal refugees from conflict areas become more self-sufficient since 2011.
“They came here with a right to work and can be citizens after five years,” Idhow said.
As ORIS has an ongoing relationships with businesses in Exeter and Stratham, Idhow said the group has been successful in the past “due to the support of the community.”
ORIS is one of several agencies that help identify communities suited for refugee resettlement under the federal Reception and Placement program, which provides assistance with living expenses during a refugee’s first few months in the community, according to the city’s release.
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