New American Cities

Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award
Global Refuge

New American Cities provides an opportunity to rebuild for both new Americans and the cities they call home. Through economic empowerment, social mobility, and the promotion of diverse, inclusive communities, LIRS is creating an infrastructure that allows both refugees and their cities to thrive.

Last Updated: January 2024
Competition Participation
Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award
Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award
Right to free movement and asylum
  • United States of America
  • Michigan, United States of America
  • New Mexico, United States of America
  • Texas, United States of America
  • Virginia, United States of America
  • Refugees and displaced people
  • 1. No poverty
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth
  • 10. Reduced inequalities

Executive Summary

When refugees are resettled in the United States, they are often required to accept low-wage, entry-level positions that offer little opportunity for growth. Without the chance for advancement, many refugees remain in poverty. Meanwhile, jobs are left open that could otherwise be filled by refugees—if only the system supported them. There is potential for refugees to offer substantial contributions to communities in need of their skills and talents.

In New American Cities, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is redesigning systems of collaboration between local governments, employers, and resettlement agencies, creating a longer-term approach to self-sufficiency. This collective action will pave the way to success by working with refugees to overcome the challenges that stand in their way, while strengthening the economies and workforce of the cities they now call home. LIRS is actively transforming how refugees are welcomed in the U.S. Together we can build resilient and vibrant New American Cities.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Global Refuge

Organization Headquarters
Maryland, United States of America
Organization ID
Number of Full-time Employees
51 to 100
Annual Operating Budget
$25.1 to 50 Million

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

Organizations may provide budget and employee data based on this proposal or the organization as a whole. For more information on this proposal or organization, please email us.


# New American Cities has had a profound impact so far.

## Many clients of the NAC program initially experienced poverty and a sense of hopelessness. However, through NAC they secured employment that matches their skills, gained the knowledge to advocate for themselves in the US workforce, and cultivated a sense of belonging in their new city.

One outcome for individuals participating in the NAC program is career advancement by obtaining a suitable job or progressing in their current employment. All NAC clients benefit from personalized career-focused case management services, aimed at helping them secure improved job opportunities.

Partners highlighted that new arrivals tend to put down roots over time, if they can find stable jobs and a family-friendly, safe, and welcoming community. Then they invest in the community, buying and fixing up houses, starting businesses, and participating in cultural activities. These actions all contribute to the stability of the overall community.

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