The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is pleased to announce the 2016 Immigrant Families Initiative grants totaling $175,000 to eight organizations serving South Carolina’s immigrant and refugee populations. Immigrants represent nearly 5% of South Carolina’s total population and research shows these individuals make multiple contributions to the state’s economy sharing business, leadership, education, labor and other skills. However, a large number of immigrants and children of immigrants experience poverty across South Carolina.

The Foundation recognizes the value of welcoming and embracing newcomers who strengthen the communities across South Carolina. Rooted in the Foundation’s mission and core values of compassion and courage, the Immigrant Families Initiative was launched in 2014 dedicated to enhancing individual and family well-being through grant-making and the creation of strategic partnerships to support organizations that lift families out of poverty, and supporting efforts to build inclusive, welcoming environments for immigrants. The goal of the Immigrant Families Initiative is to improve the health, well-being and economic mobility of first and second generation immigrants, mixed status families and refugees working alongside our grantees, community stakeholders and philanthropic partners.

Funding in the Immigrant Families Initiative category is intended to assist these programs to 1) boost resources of families living below 200% of the poverty line to meet basic needs (e.g. a safe, stable place to live, access to enough food, affordable health coverage and quality child care); 2) build inclusive, welcoming communities increasing social capital of newcomers; 3) employ two generation strategies to strengthen and support families; 4) improve educational outcomes from early childhood to postsecondary educational pathways; 5) enhance workforce and career skills for family-sustaining employment or entrepreneurship; 6) support DREAMers positioning them for success and next generation leadership; 7) bolster efforts to obtain citizenship, naturalization or other legal statuses; and 8) increase civic engagement to strengthen communities and create social change.

The Foundation is pleased to partner with the below eight grantees serving immigrants and refugees across South Carolina:

Arcadia Elementary School

Funding will support ESOL training, basic literacy and GED classes to adult learners while providing free child care so parents can participate in the program. (Spartanburg)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia

Funding will expand current site-based program for Hispanic children of immigrants as carefully screened volunteer Bigs meet with their Littles throughout the year. (Richland and Lexington)

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charleston – Office of Immigration Services

Funding will help relieve the financial burden for low-income immigrants applying for naturalization to help overcome some of the financial barriers to becoming a citizen. (Charleston, Berkeley, Beaufort, Dorchester, Greenville and Horry)

Hispanic Alliance/Alliance for Collaboration with the Hispanic Community

Funding will pilot the leadership development of a core group of young leaders (middle and high school students) in Greenville to increase awareness of education inequality and advocate for equal access to higher education through the formation of a DREAMer Network. (Greenville)

Lutheran Services Carolinas

Funding will help support building relationships with new employers in order to place more refugees in suitable jobs within a shorter time frame, helping more refugees feel like they are in control of their own lives again with meaningful employment and better position them to move out of poverty. (Richland, Lexington and Charleston)

Neighborhood Outreach Connection

Funding will strengthen communities in three low-income neighborhoods through education, health screening and workforce development with an emphasis on creating learning opportunities for more children through a year-round afterschool, summer learning and tutoring program that helps Hispanic children overcome the achievement gap. (Beaufort)

PASOs

Funding will strengthen PASOs Promotores Initiative by developing comprehensive community health workers curricula based on national core competencies and providing training to support PASOs community health workers, including enabling Promotores to financially support explore eight topics of interest to them that meet the needs of the community. (Statewide)

Student Action with Farmworkers

Funding will promote leadership development among college students and increase health, legal and education services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers through recruitment, training and mentoring of six bilingual (Spanish/English) interns to reach over 600 farmworkers in isolated labor camps in rural areas of South Carolina. (Statewide)