AICS was incorporated into a 501c3 non-profit in 2007 by its Executive Director Mustafa Hassan to meet the needs of East African refugees in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area. The organization was initially financed by community members who pooled funds to rent its current Minneapolis center on 13th Ave South because many refugee families had settled in and around the Phillips community. Shortly after securing a location, AICS obtained its first government contract from the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Resettlement Program Office to provide funding for the Refugee Social Services program. At that time, Mustafa Hassan was the only staff person serving his community with numerous volunteers.
In 2008 AICS after a successful execution of the Refugee Social Services Program, it was awarded a second contract from DHS/RPO to provide Refugee Employment Services and added a second staff person. AICS added services for youth refugees, again funded by DHS/RPO and grew to three full-time and a part-time staff person.
2011 brought a partnership with East Side Neighborhood Services’ Senior Employment Program to secure subsidized employment opportunities for a group of low-income East African Elders (55+). In 2013 a partnership with the National Indian Council on Aging was established and between these two organizations, AICS is able to have ten total Elders (five on site and five at other sites) supporting us.
Continuing in our 10th year of operation with six full-time staff, we have developed a solid track record in serving the East African refugee community via performance-based government funding.