The Lao Assistance Center is raising funds this year to help expand our program areas and support for Lao American families in Minnesota in 2018. Please consider donating!

Established in 1983, the Lao Assistance Center has helped Minnesota’s 12,000 Lao American refugees and their families to rebuild their lives in the US. We need your support to continue and expand our good work in many program areas including family stability and community health, housing, employment, elder services, civic engagement, academic support, traditional art and culture.

Minnesota has the 3rd largest Laotian population and is one of the only states with organizations committed to assisting resettlement. At least half of the Lao reside in Hennepin County. The city of Minneapolis has the largest Lao population, followed by Brooklyn Park and other surrounding Twin Cities suburbs. Several other areas have sizeable Lao populations: Olmsted County, Nobles County, Roseau County and Stearns County, as well as Mountain Lake, Warroad and St. Cloud. The Lao are the 6th largest community in Minnesota, and form a community the size of Worthington or Monticello. 70% live in Hennepin County, and 7,000 live in North Minneapolis.

Approximately 200,000 ethnic Lao refugees in the US in the aftermath of the war for control of Laos (1954-1975). This war killed, maimed and displaced over half a million people. Lao who supported the US were resettled with little support. 40 years later, nearly a third live at the federal poverty level. Many are women widows, elders and single mothers with limited education and English fluency.  Nearly 50% of Lao refugees are under 18, and less than 7% have bachelor’s degrees. 42% have less than a high school diploma. Less than 1 in 100 has an advanced degree, particularly among Lao women.

With our award-winning staff, the Lao Assistance Center has built constructive partnerships over the decades that includes work with Vietnamese Social Services, Southeast Asian Community Council, the Harrison Neighborhood Association and Northwest Hennepin Human Services Council to provide cultural-specific services to at-risk Lao families. We refer clients to numerous schools, clinics, employers, lawyers, government services and the media. We’re asking you to help us continue this journey because it’s an opportunity to share in positive work that yields tangible, ongoing results.

At the Lao Assistance Center, our services are distinctive for a strategic commitment to personalized, professional, and culturally adaptive approaches to resolve client needs, training them in key skills to help themselves and others, building greater community capacity. We were a member of a national social action/ capacity-building consortium supported by Asian Pacific Islanders In Philanthropy focusing on gender equity. Key community outreach campaigns of ours have included Hepatitis B, Chemical Health Awareness, Gambling Addiction, HDTV Conversion, Breast Cancer Awareness, APIA Voter Registration, and Census 2010. We need your support to reach more in our community through innovative techniques that bring a community-centered, intentional, and intergenerational model of support to the forefront.

Thank you for considering support of us!

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