Online Program

Understanding refugees in the Denver metropolitan area: A scan of the system

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Marilyn M. Williams, PhD, MS, MPH, University of Denver, Denver, CO
The Greater Denver Metropolitan area is the major resettlement area for refugees in the state of Colorado. Last year alone nearly 2,000 people arrived in the State of Colorado, with the vast majority coming from Bhutan, Burma, Ethiopia and Iraq. For the year 2013, it is expected that there will be a primarily be persons arriving from Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo instead of East Asia. These new populations primarily settle in the 5 county Denver area, namely, Arapahoe and Denver Counties, and to a lesser degree in Adams, Douglas and Jefferson Counties. Because of this, culturally sensitive basic needs and services including specialized resettlement agencies were established to address employment, health care, childcare and education. To more adequately address their needs, it has become clear that a regional assessment of what services are provided to them and where they are located was necessary. Asset mapping was conducted to determine the location of the refugee population(s) in the Denver area, the governmental and nonprofit services they receive, including health care, education and housing and their general geographic relationships to the population(s). In conducting this study, it allowed for some gaps in the current system to be identified (e.g., mental health services) and to focus further analyses on where refugees receive support outside the established governmental services (e.g., churches).

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the refugee community in the Denver Metropolitan area

Keyword(s): Refugees, Community Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a professor of Geography specializing in disparities in the city of Denver for the last 5 years. I also conduct environmantal justice research and hold an MPH.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.