The YMCA has opened a New American Welcome Center at its North YMCA facility, 1640 Sandalwood Place, Columbus, Ohio to help immigrants – also referred to as newcomers – fully integrate into American society and prepare receiving communities to be welcoming and inclusive.
The Executive Director, Social Responsibility for the YMCA of Central Ohio, Malik Moore said ”the New American Welcome Center will achieve this through a combination of integration services, collaborations with community leaders and businesses, and strategies to connect and build cross-cultural understanding between immigrants and U. S-born residents.
“We believe communities are at their strongest when everyone feels valued, has support to reach their potential and can fully participate in society,” he added.
In his speech, Ohio House Representative David Leland commended the YMCA for the project. He presented a commemorative certificate to YMCA “to memorialize the day and the wonderful welcome center”.
Also Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce said “the ‘Y’ (YMCA) is really a macrocosm of what central Ohio and America look like. We are a nation of immigrants and it’s really the root of why the United States was founded. This says a lot about the mission and the direction of the ‘Y’.
“The dedication of the room shows the investment in that effort, investment in our community and that is something that is unique, valuable and is something that we all should embrace as part of our community,” he said.
The CEO of YMCA, Central Ohio, Steve Ives said that “People chose to come to the U.S. because this is where they want to be. They come to central Ohio because they heard something. The ‘Y’ is blessed and that blessing should be shared and put to use. Our purpose in the community is changing and evolving. This is meant to be a model for what we will have in other of our facilities.”