Church World Service (CWS) is an international organization that is proud to have an office in Jersey City. CWS provides case management and employment services for newly arrived refugees to build a foundation for long-term self-sufficiency and success in the United States. The Partnership was happy to be able to provide one of our 2018 Mini-Grants to CWS. We asked all of our mini-grantees the same questions about the work that they do, here’s how CWS responded:
What does building a culture of health mean to you?
That all residents, regardless of how long they have lived in Jersey City or what language they speak, feel that they have the tools and resources to stay healthy, both in mind and body.
What would you identify as your most significant accomplishment so far towards building a greater culture of health? What have been some of your toughest barriers?
We are working with refugee and asylee families with very small children. We thought the initial barrier would be families not interested in talking about safety and health but found that the opposite was true. We have found that families feel pretty connected to resources in Jersey City, but there are a few gaps in their knowledge that we can work with them to overcome, like how to talk to a property manager about maintenance issues or how important it is to take children to a park to play.
How do you plan on using your Culture of Health Grant?
Our Culture of Health Grant is targeting refugee and asylee women and children living in Jersey City, particularly families with infants and toddlers. We are providing home visits to the families to see if they need assistance with ‘baby-proofing’ and to make sure the home is safe for the little ones. We ask them if they are connected to available community resources provided by the city such as WIC, make sure they are up-to-date on early childhood vaccines, and we ask if they have visited parks or libraries. Already we have worked with one family to encourage them to use the park in their neighborhood and will follow-up with a few families on some recommended maintenance to ensure their homes are as safe as possible for their little ones. This project has allowed us to engage with families around the health of their children in a preventive way rather than just thinking of child health when they get sick.
If you have an interest in immigrant, asylee, and refugee issues in Jersey City, you may want to read this recent blog post from our Director of Immigrant Affairs, Michael McLean.
For more information about Church World Service, please click here.