Effort aims to improve refugee programs in northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND - A coalition of public and private agencies wants to improve coordination of refugee resettlement programs in northeast Ohio.

About 400 to 500 refugees arrive each year in Cleveland. Most come from areas of conflict in Africa, southeast Asia and the Middle East.

The coalition of three resettlement agencies and schools, health care providers and faith-based organizations is called the Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland.

The Cleveland Foundation has awarded the coalition an $84,000 grant to expand its work. The grant announced last week will support an assessment of the refugee community as a way to boost the region's economy.

Participants include state and county government, Cleveland and Lakewood schools and Catholic Charities refugee services.

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