Integrated Community expands immigration services to Craig
Integrated Community/Comunidada Integrada celebrated the opening of its Craig office on Monday, Dec. 19, with dozens of community members in attendance.
Integrated Community has been serving the immigrant community in Routt County, as well as Moffat County residents who work in Routt County, for many years. The purpose of expanding with an office in Craig is to offer services closer to home for Moffat County residents.
According to Nelly Navarro, executive director of Integrated Community, the Craig office will primarily offer resources and referrals, as well as immigration and language justice services. However, there is possibility of bringing additional services to Craig in the future.
Over the past year, Navarro has met with around 75 Moffat County stakeholders to explore opening a Craig office. The initiative was made possible through a donation from the Colorado Health Foundation.
After the hard work that’s been put in by the Integrated Community staff, board and volunteers over the past year, local leaders expressed excitement at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 555 Breeze St. early this week.
Tom Kleinschnitz, director of tourism for Moffat County and a Craig City Council member, helped welcome Integrated Community in the dedication speeches. Kleinschnitz commented on how difficult it already is to move to a new community and navigate housing, jobs and meeting people when you speak the same language.
The resources provided by Integrated Community will help residents who are learning English as a second language or who immigrate to the United States from other countries to navigate basic needs like housing, jobs and health care.
Kleinschnitz said that coming from a family that immigrated to the United States from Germany, he knew the hesitation his grandfather felt about keeping his German flags on display once the public perception of Germany changed during World War I.
“I hope that culture is never lost by anyone who is moving into this community,” Kleinschnitz said.
Angela Modesitt, the Craig office manager, will take resource and referral clients by appointment during the week. Navarro and other staff from the Integrated Community Steamboat office will travel to Craig weekly to provide additional services, including immigration services.
Renzo Walton, the immigration specialist for Integrated Community, is a citizenship trainer and is the only U.S. Department of Justice accredited representative in the region working as a specially qualified non-attorney professional representing low-income immigrants.
There will also be free legal clinics available via appointment that will provide legal advice — not representation — with Steve Jensen, a local attorney who previously served for 35 years as a district attorney.
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