CARR Program Updates, Upcoming Events, and More!
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Inside this issue: Intro to CARR, Recap of World Refugee Day 2016, Spotlight on Refugees in Pittsburgh, PLUS upcoming events and how to get involved!
Northern Area Multi-Service Center (NAMS) is an organization that helps individuals and families who are at risk achieve and/or maintain the maximum level of independence they can with the highest quality of life in a result-oriented, cost-effective manner. Through its Community Assistance & Refugee Resettlement (CARR) program, NAMS helps hundreds of men, women, and children make Pittsburgh their home, integrate into American life, rebuild their lives, and achieve sustainable independence and self-sufficiency.

Reception & Placement
The Reception & Placement (RP) Program provides extensive assistance to newly arrived refugees for their first 90 days in the United States, aiming to give them the tools and resources needed to put them on the path to independence, self-sufficiency, and self-advocacy. This program sets the foundation for refugees to thrive and become productive members of the Pittsburgh community through services such as housing, cultural orientation, school registration, health screenings, employment services, and more.

CARR aims to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing to newly-arrived refugees.The Housing Case Manager works to educate new refugees on tenant responsibilities and services as a liaison between tenants and landlords to help bridge existing language and cultural gaps.

Employment Services
CARR offers several employment programs, all of which aim to assess and identify skills, educate on American workplace expectations, integrate individuals into the workplace, and support the path to economic self-sufficiency. The Matching Grant (MG) program works to establish economic self-sufficiency within 120 days and provides an alternative to public assistance through extended case management. Refugee Social Services (RSS) and Targeted Assistance Grant (TAG) are state-funded job placement programs where individuals work one-on-one with job developers to navigate the job search process and connect to employers in the Pittsburgh area. Targeted Assistance Program (TAP) is a state-funded skills development program that provides customized learning opportunities and helps refugees acquire and refine skills needed to pursue upward mobility and achieve their professional goals.

Immigrant Services and Connections (ISAC) is a multi-agency partnership that assists refugees and immigrants in accessing existing services in the Pittsburgh community. As part of the program, CARR has two Service Coordinators and two Service Navigators that help connect refugees to service providers for food, clothing, shelter, education and employment services, healthcare and legal services, and more. 



Pittsburgh celebrated World Refugee Day on June 17th, although the official date of the UNHCR holiday is June 20th. Refugees and immigrants from all over Pittsburgh came to Market Square in the morning and afternoon to celebrate their diverse cultures, arts, and food with the community.   

Performances & a Citizenship Ceremony
The program of performances featured dance groups of Bhutanese and African students, African drum groups, singers and speakers from various communities, and an actual citizenship ceremony. During the citizenship ceremony, representatives from US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants administered the Oath of Allegiance for 10 refugees who became US citizens in front of everyone in Market Square.

Some of these refugees were able to share their stories of their experiences in their home countries and what it was like to come to America. Many of them had lived in the refugee camps for almost 20 years or more before being able to come to the US. One Burmese man expressed his gratitude that his children and grandchildren will be able to have a good life here in America. "I am an old man now,” he said, “but I am so happy that my children and their children will be able to make something of their lives.” 

Arts, Crafts, & Food
In addition to the performances and ceremonies, several artists, crafters, and caterers were featured. Vendors sold Bhutanese, Syrian, Iraqi, and a variety of African foods. Several local crafters and artists featured their work and sold some of their crafts and pieces. One artist displayed an art installation that was supposed to model a room from a refugee camp. Several other paintings and drawings were featured from local refugee communities, and some women even had a henna booth set up. These displays and booths helped highlight the art, food, and cultures of local refugee communities.

A Community Effort
World Refugee Day was sponsored by the Urban Affairs Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Several organizations were partnered to organize this event including Northern Area Multi-Service Center, Acculturation for Justice, Access and Peace Outreach (AJAPO), Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Jewish Family & Children Services, South Hills Interfaith Movement, Young Democrats of Allegheny County, City of Asylum Pittsburgh, CISV Pittsburgh, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council and American Red Cross of Southwestern PA. And finally, the event would not have been complete without the help and participation of Pittsburgh's refugee communities, including the local caterers, artists, performers, and community leaders.

Missed the event this year? Join us next year, and stay updated with us to hear all the details next spring and summer!


(Victor, on the left, with his certificate from WAMO 100 Positive Project.)

Victor Gariseb is not your typical high school student. In addition to having a wide range of talents and interests, he is also very involved in his school and community. Victor and his family (dad, mom, two little sisters, and little brother) came to the US a little over a year ago. His parents are originally from Democratic Republic of Congo, but Victor grew up in Namibia. Victor is going into his senior year at University Preparatory High School (UPrep), and he has a part time job at Panera Bread. His family was resettled through NAMS, and they quickly got involved in the Pittsburgh community.

Big Beginnings
His first summer here, Victor won a laptop through a competition at the Carnegie Library and went to an acting boot camp, where he performed every weekend for various audiences. Comedy acting is his specialty, and even though he was not able to take the opportunity, his acting even qualified him to go to LA through a local competition. When he started school, he quickly got involved, playing soccer for Barack Obama International Academy and joining in on leadership initiatives, among other things. Through his elective classes, Victor acts and sings in the school choir, which performs for the school and in other locations around Pittsburgh, including Children's Hospital. In addition to all of his extra-curricular activities, Victor excels in the classroom, making high honor roll in the spring. He considers this one of his best accomplishments in school.

At University Prep, Victor was able to get involved with the Student Envoy Project, a pilot program that works to change the school's image from a negative one to a positive one and help more students succeed. Through this program, UPrep receives several Pittsburgh Promise students and meets with community leaders and families throughout Pittsburgh to talk about the school. The program's goals are to see fewer kids in suspension and juvenile detention, to help incoming students, and to create a positive image and environment surrounding the school. The 60-plus students, in addition to doing fun activities like going to Pirates games, also present to leaders, teachers, and parents in the community. Victor recently spoke to the school board about one of the 5 Secrets (advice they give to incoming students), discussing how failures and frustrations can help you learn and improve for the future. He has also talked with incoming student teachers to give them advice for how to thrive and succeed at UPrep and let them know what to expect from the students and the school. Because of his work with the Envoy Project, Victor recently received a certificate from WAMO 100 Project Positive, recognizing his leadership in the school and community.

Memories and Moving Forward
One of Victor’s favorite memories from his time in the United States was on his first day, flying into New York City. He said, “The biggest highlight ever was seeing a small piece of the Statue of Liberty through the plane window!” Although Victor misses his family and the stars and ocean back in Namibia, he says that his favorite thing about Pittsburgh is “the people. They are very kind and welcoming.” He has had a chance to travel to a few other places in Pennsylvania, going with his friends to basketball games and the regional finals for their school. While civil engineering is his practical career pursuit, he has big dreams for his post-high school years. Inspired by one of his favorite TV shows Glee, Victor plans to pursue acting in the future, and he has already started applying with various acting and talent agencies. Victor says that acting and singing are some of his favorite things to do, and he hopes he can succeed in pursuing his dreams of becoming an actor.

August 19 -- Salt Power Yoga Charity Event for NAMS | 6-7pm | North Park Lounge, Cranberry (beach volleyball court) | Sign up for this event online at Salt Power Yoga's website. Search for events happening on Aug. 19 and click the "Sign Up" button for the Charity Class @ NPL Cranberry. Create a login to register for this event.

More events coming soon! Stay updated through our email list to find out about our latest fundraisers and community events!

For more information about events, please contact us at 412-781-1175 ext. 2248 or at or stay updated through the NAMS Facebook page.


Volunteer -- Volunteers play an integral role in helping us welcome and serve refugees. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to engage with refugees and help them integrate into our community as they start their new lives. Opportunities include:
  • Mentoring refugee families on basic life skills
  • Helping to navigate the public transit system 
  • Connecting refugees to community and social service providers
Anyone interested in these opportunities can call 412-781-1175 ext. 2248 or email to find out more.

Donate -- We work hard to make refugees feel welcome in their homes. Your donations of gently-used goods, including kitchenware, personal hygiene products, and furniture are greatly appreciated. We also welcome monetary donations. For a more detailed list of currently-accepted donations and information on how to donate materially and financially, please contact us at 412-781-1175 ext. 2248 or at

TASTE OF HOME: Recipe from our Refugee Communities
Bhutan: SAMOSA
For Samosa
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. oil (more, if needed)
6 tbsp. water

For potato stuffing
5 med. potatoes
4 tbsp. oil
1 med. onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 c. green peas
1 tbsp. ginger, grated
1 green chili, finely chopped
3 tbsp. cilantro (or coriander), chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground coriander (or coriander powder)
1 tsp. ground cumin seeds
1 tbsp. thyme seeds
Oil for deep frying

  • Mix flour, thyme seeds, and salt in a bowl. 
  • Add 4 tbsp. oil and rub until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. 
  • Slowly add about 6 tbsp. of water and knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until smooth. 
  • Rub dough with oil. Samosa dough should clamp together when joined and should be firm.
  • Cover it and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Potato stuffing
  • Boil, cool, and peel the potatoes.
  • Mash the potatoes.
  • In a pan, heat 4 tbsp. of oil over medium heat.
  • Lower the heat and carefully add the onion.
  • Stir fry over medium heat until golden brown.
  • Add peas, ginger, green chili, and fresh cilantro (coriander).
  • Add mashed potatoes, salt, and all other spices.
  • Mix and cook on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, continuing to stir.
Making Samosa
  • Knead the dough again. Divide it into about 10 balls.
  • Roll the balls into a flat, round shape, about 5 inches in diameter.
  • Cut each in half, and make the half into a cone shape, sticking the seam together with a little water.
  • Fill the cone with about 2 1/2 tbsp. of the potato mixture.
  • Stick the top of the cone together with a little water. (The seam should be about 1/4 of an inch wide.)
Cooking Samosa
  • In a frying pan, heat 2 c. of oil over a medium-low flame. (you can use a wok, karahi, etc. for this as well.)
  • When the oil is hot, carefully place as many samosas in the pan that will fit. 
  • Fry slowly, turning the samosas until they are golden brown and crisp.
  • Drain excess oil and serve hot with sauce, such as mint chutney or tomato sauce.

PHOTO STORIES: Our Work in Pictures
During a meeting with our Somali clients, they drew pictures to represent problems they have faced in Pittsburgh.
Every second Friday of the month, some of our clients gather for a knitting group.
CARR staff Shashi helps the women at the knitting group with their projects.
Use the links below to connect with us on social media, check out our website, and share this newsletter.
Copyright © 2016 Northern Area Multi-Service Center, All rights reserved.

Community Assistance and Refugee Resettlement

209 13th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
412-781-1175 ext. 2248
CARR website

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CARR · 209 13th Street · Pittsburgh, Pa 15215 · USA

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