For the more than 500 former refugees who come to Spokane each year in search of a better life, the transition isn’t easy. Among many other challenges, language and cultural barriers make it nearly impossible to find employment.
Global Neighborhood received a grant from Innovia Foundation to support its mission of helping former refugees earn income, achieve financial security and thrive in their new life in Spokane. The nonprofit organization plans to use the funding to expand and create more jobs at its Global Neighborhood Thrift store. The thrift store sells donated clothes and housewares, while providing employment and job training to former refugees.
Since it started in 2011, the thrift store has employed people from 19 different countries. Each year, between 25 and 40 people prepare for the workplace in the organization’s six-month paid job training program. With the grant, Global Neighborhood Thrift expects to add five new positions, employing 10 additional former refugees each year.