Our Communities

Vietnamese Social Services is a direct service organization, serving low income families, welcoming newly arrived immigrant and refugees, and supporting youth, adults, and seniors on their journey as new Americans. On average we reach 12,000+ program participants. Most are Vietnamese (50%), Karen (40%) refugees and immigrants. The remaining group (10%) is composed of Burmese, Somali, and Laotian. All are residents of the 7-county metro area.

Our Programs

Civic Engagement

VSS’s model, ONE VOICE, seeks to ensure that the Southeast Asian community is involved in the public decisions that affect their lives. VSS is also part of Act 4 Unity which promotes the concept “The New Americanism — Be the Change” through the “E3— Engagement — Education - Empowerment” project. In addition, we register voters, provide voter workshops, and operate Voter Phone Bank. We are also engaging our communities for Census 2020.

Family Programs

Our Celebrating Family initiative is funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Serving, Vietnamese, Karen, and Karenni, it aims at providing individualized tools, resources, and services that help program participants to overcome challenges related to chemical dependency, trauma, mental illnesses, domestic abuse, and other family crisis. VSS’s Elder Program provides meals and social connections to refugee and immigrant elders. The program combats social isolation and loneliness by offering elders shared activities and a support network.

Health Programs

VSS is raising awareness through educational programs about chronic health issues, including diabetes and cancer, and mental health. Our funding various healthcare providers and state government agencies. The goal is to promote health and wellness while focusing on strategies that would contribute to collective efforts to eliminate health disparities.

Workforce Development

Through our Adult Basic Education (ABE) program and various partnerships, we offer a range ofj ob trainings for underserved communities. Our Bridge to the Future work-force development program is implemented in partnership with: the Carpenter Union Training Center, Team Personnel, Minnesota’s Department of Human Services, and Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development. Our Can Work program provides Southeast Asian adults with education and training for jobs in hospitality, customer service, and carpentry.

Other Programs

VSS is often the first place that our community members call on when there is a problem. With or without funding, we do our best to help anyone who rings VSS. This means that our staff, volunteers, and even our board members offer services and support in many ways, ranging from translating an official document or a doctor’s note to making connections and referrals to resolve legal, family, employer, and school issues. Most of these activities are unfunded by grants and contracts. Yet, often times, we find the most meaning difference that actually change lives.

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