Over the past five years, the number of people served by the Chaldean Community Foundation has grown from a few thousand each year to nearly 35,000.
Much of the demand was spurred by the surge in Iraqi and Syrian refugees during the last administration. But the number of people coming to the foundation hasn’t trickled off despite the shift in federal policies that has kept refugees from those countries from seeking asylum in the U.S. in recent years.
Demand for the foundation’s services continues to grow, President Martin Manna said, as behavioral health issues surface for many who faced trauma in their native land. Others need help interpreting important documents, learning to speak English, and connecting with health care, housing and jobs.
“We grew so quickly we were always just reacting and never really had a long-term plan,” Manna said.
In recent years, the foundation created defined program areas: behavioral health, career services, immigration, community outreach, development and capital mission.