To help celebrate and embrace the cultural richness that refugees bring to Los Angeles County, the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) is pleased to join the Board of Supervisors in observing June as Refugee Awareness Month.
Working with fellow County departments and community partners, DPSS welcomes refugees and their families and informs them about programs and services offered to help them resettle, including employment training and time-limited cash assistance for housing and other necessary expenses.
“Our nation continues to embrace a commitment of compassion, generosity and support for refugees and their families who have been forced to flee their homelands,” Supervisor Hilda J. Solis stated in her unanimously approved motion. Supervisor Solis also highlighted the many contributions that immigrants make to enhance the culture in the nation’s most diverse county, adding that “the Board of Supervisors welcome and celebrate the invaluable contributions that refugees make to L.A. County.”
The observance culminated on June 21 with an annual World Refugee Day event hosted by the Refugee Forum of Los Angeles at the L.A. Central Library Taper Auditorium and Courtyard. The event featured a portrait exhibit, panel discussion, resource fair, food, and entertainment to raise awareness about the plight of refugees around the world.
Home to more than 10 million residents, with 140 cultures, and as many as 224 languages, Los Angeles is one of eight California counties designated as “refugee-impacted” or where large populations of refugees have settled. According to the California Department of Social Services (DPSS) Refugee Programs Bureau, more than 4,000 individuals from nearly 30 different countries settled in L.A. County within the past five years.
“DPSS is honored to serve refugees in the County and grateful to do so in continued partnership with the Board of Supervisors, Office of Immigrant Affairs, Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service, International Institute of L.A., International Rescue Committee, Jobs Vision Success SoCal, and the Refugee Forum of L.A.,” says DPSS Acting Director Jackie Contreras.