2022 Year in Review

2022 was a memorable year for KOM! We reopened our walk-in services and expanded our services to new populations of Afghan and Ukrainian refugees that have resettled to Minnesota. Additionally, we introduced new programs and expanded our existing programs.

5 new and expanded programs 

13 new staff

60 given COVID-19 vaccines

462 given flu shots

270 gala attendees

$14,000 raised at our gala

One of the biggest changes this year was our program expansions. Keep reading to hear some of the program highlights!

Youth Chemical Health

70 youth enrolled/receiving case management in our Youth Chemical Health program

Youth substance use and mental health continues to be a concern in the Karen community. KOM provides culturally-responsive care by offering:

  • substance use prevention workshops
  • case management for youth with substance use and/or mental health concerns
  • referrals to treatment and counseling for youth
  • peer support groups for parents whose children are struggling with substance use and mental health issues

At the Annual Gala, we watched a video from Moo Paw, a mother of a son who has overcome addiction with help from Youth Case Manager Mar Htay. Moo Paw is incredibly grateful to KOM for providing helpful services. If you missed story at the Gala, watch it below!

Adult Career Pathways

We want refugees to be able to not only find and maintain meaningful employment, but also have the opportunity to advance in their careers. By providing vocational training, career counseling, and financial coaching, we are able to support refugees to obtain careers in many high-demand industries.

In September 2022, we added two new trainings: “Move Up in Manufacturing” A Career Advancement Workshop, and Transportation/Logistics where participants can earn a Forklift certification and Commercial Driver’s License. These trainings will allow refugees to receive knowledge, skills, and employer connections they need to grow their career.

New Arrivals Program

80 Afghan and 11 Ukrainian clients receiving Employment Services

42 Afghan and 3 Ukrainian clients receiving Family Assister Services

While resettlement of Karen and other refugees from Burma has slowed down, we are proud to be part of a statewide network mobilizing to welcome refugees fleeing conflicts in Afghanistan and Ukraine.

These services connect refugees with employment, housing, childcare, healthcare, food support, transportation, and other basic needs. To meet the specific needs of these clients, we added three Afghan staff members in Employment and Youth Development.

Youth Leadership

6 youth completing our first Young Leaders Fellowship

Youth Leader Fellows pose with then KOM Youth Career Development Counselor Ku Gay before giving a presentation about their service-learning projects.

Building up the next generation of leaders is critical to supporting the Karen community in the future. KOM launched the Young Leaders Fellowship in June 2022. Six fellows met bi-weekly at the Urban Village to work on service-learning projects related to poverty and mental health. These projects serve Karen community members and develop the youth’s leadership skills. We also continued to offer the What’s Next after-school program to help high school youth work toward their education and career goals.

Financial Opportunity Center

34 people attending financial workshops

28 people getting financial counseling for the first time

KOM joined LISC’s national Financial Opportunity Center network in 2021 and began delivering services in 2022 after our staff completed extensive training in financial coaching. Through these services, we will help clients increase their monthly net income, build credit, start a savings account, receive access to financial resources, and plan for their career long-term.

To learn more about FOC and its impact, visit this article.

As we look back at all that we have done this year at KOM, we recognize that we couldn’t have done it without your support. Thank you for your continuous support as we’ve worked to sustain our existing programs and add new services to help refugees and immigrants reach their goals.

Stay connected with us into the new year by visiting our website, reading our monthly newsletters, and following us on Facebook and Instagram. We always have exciting updates to share about how our programs are impacting refugees and ways you can get involved. Additionally, you can make a donation here to help us continue this important work.

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