African Immigrants Community Services’ (AICS) mission is to provide services that strengthen the capacity of Twin City East Africans to become increasingly self-sufficient. AICS serves 700+ East African refugees annually.
Characteristics of the community that AICS serves includes:
100% East Africans (mostly Somali with small percentages of Kenyan, Oromo, Eritrean, Sudanese, etc.)
100% are low income
90% are refugees living in the U.S. for five years or fewer (with the majority in the U.S. for less than three years).
85% are residents of Hennepin County (around the south Minneapolis Area) and 15% are residents of Ramsey County or the five other counties that make up the metro area.
80% are adults (with 10% being elders 55+) and 20% are youth (high school aged)
60% Female and 40% male
AICS is primarily focused on assisting East Africans to settle, integrate, and become increasingly engaged in their new communities. Being governed, led, and staffed by former East African refugees who understand the challenges new arrivals face in becoming established, AICS has a high success rate of effectively serving the East African community.
Six full-time staff work together with numerous partnering agencies and 10 (half-time) elders who are on loan and paid by East Side Neighborhood Services (ESNS) and the National Indian Council on Aging. We work together to provide a significant amount of support to people who have limited or no English speaking skills and who require a good deal of assistance with everyday living needs. AICS staff play a key role in helping to navigate the state and federal systems such as housing, health, education, legal, employment, transportation and child care among others. Our desire is to help clients access the services they need to be increasingly self-reliant. The services that AICS offers are culturally and linguistically appropriate being strongly rooted in achieving positive outcomes for our clients.