Pingree Announces More Than $1 Million to Support Maine Immigrant Services


Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine( at a Meetig on Maine Vet Homelessness at Hanaford Hall, USM, Portland, Earlier This Year.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced that two federal grants totalling more than $1,000,000 for the Greater Portland Immmigrant Welcome Center (GPIWC), US Department of Health & Human Serices (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement awarded GPIWC $716,000. over three years to support existing GPIWC programs, help coordinate ongoing work with other service providers and help aspiring immigrant entrepreneurs.

In addition, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced $250,000-awarded through its Citizenship and Integration Grant Program-for GPIWC to develop citizenship naturalization education classes for refugees.  The grant will allow GPIWC to hire a citizenship educator and to have a trained staff member authorized to represent immigrants in legal proceedings.

“The programs and services the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center offers are invaluacble to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers when they arrive in Maine and beyond as they begin their new lives here,” said Pingree.  “These grants will not only help maintain those vital serices, but expand the Center’s capabilities to have an even bigger impact for new Mainers, and, in turn, on our comunities.  This is an investment in the future of Maine.”

“These two federal grants exemplify the growing maturity of the immigrant Welcome Center as a provider of services,” said GPIWC Board chair Quang Nguyen.  “They will be the catalyst for development of new initiatives and expansion of our existing programs.”