GONDBA Meeting Minutes

January 26, 2011

Networking began at 11:30 AM with lunch from Groceryland provided by GONDBA.

Barry Hall, President, called the meeting to order and introductions were made by the members present.

Barry thanked everyone for all the donations made for Cops Nite Out.  It was a huge success.  He also congratulated Major Chibali of the Dayton Police for his promotion from lieutenant.

Remember to submit B2B information/ flyers to Barry so members of GONDBA can get to know what other local business owners do.

Please check Barry’s email for the latest CAP updates for the neighborhood.

Jerry Bowling discussed a report done by UD students called Leadership in Building Communities Seminar.  UD students collaborated with the McCook Field Neighborhood and Old North Dayton to discover ways of revitalizing the area.  Ask Jerry for more details.

Also, if you have not already paid your dues ($100.00), please send them to PO Box 193 Dayton, OH 45404.

Our guest speakers today were Nympha Clark and Media Jyawook of Catholic Social Services of Miami Valley discussing refugee resettlement in our community.  They are the only agency in the community to help refugees attain economic independence and cultural adjustment in the United States.  Both Nympha and Media have given us more insight about the Ahiska Turks that are moving, in great numbers, into the Old North Dayton Community.  In 2006- 2007, the organization resettled 52 people in 17 households in this area.  Many existing Ahiska Turks are considered secondary migrants, coming from another area of the United States.  Currently, there are reports that within the Old North Dayton community, we have about 300 refugees living in the area.  The Midwest, especially Dayton, is very popular for these folks because of the ease of rebuilding their life.  We have affordable housing, job opportunities, and the cost of living is much lower than, for example, in NYC. 

To give a little background of the refugee resettlement program, Nympha explained that this program is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services.  We need to remember that refugees are people living outside of their country of origin who cannot return home due to the fear of persecution.  The program offers temporary cash assistance, medical assistance for up to 8 months, and social services for up to 5 years.  After 1 year, their status can be changed to a permanent resident alien and after 5 years, they can apply for their citizenship.

The Catholic Social Services assist these people in getting settled, such as find housing for them, get their social security card, enroll in English classes, enroll their children in school, and etc.  The organization tries to identify a neighborhood that would be a good fit for them.  They also tend to group people together in the same neighborhoods so they can provide support for each other.

These refugees need to begin working right away as their benefits disappear after 8 months.  A lot of times, these individuals have had previous careers back in their home country, but have had to begin a new life with an entry level position.  If there are any job opportunities for these individuals, please notify the Catholic Social Services.

We thank Nympha and Media for sharing this information to us!


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