Who We Are
Tim Doherty, a community development advocate and resident of the West Hill Neighborhood in Albany, NY is the creator and Executive Director of The Refugee Welcome Corporation. The Corporation is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and a coalition of community partners who work together to help refugees with their long-term transition and relocation to the City’s West Hill Neighborhood.The 12.4% rate of vacant buildings in West Hill is almost 4 times any other neighborhood in Albany. The Corporation strives to reduce the Neighborhood’s abandoned and vacant buildings while providing opportunities and resources for globally homeless people.
Today, with a combination of ownership and leasing, the Corporation houses more than a 100 people in 30 residential units across 20 buildings. The majority of these tenancies are single mother-led households. More than 4,000 refugees have resettled in the Capital Region since 2005. Language barriers and knowledge of American customs hinder their ability to access programs and services, housing and employment. The Corporation acquired a commercial building that has become central to collaboration and learning for residents.The West Hill Refugee Welcome Center is a public activity space accommodating a variety of neighborhood needs and services, including English language classes, computer literacy courses, student homework help, information on immigration and citizenship and public health lessons. Child care is provided for parents while they attend these various informative sessions. Every effort is made to enhance the refugees’ ability to acclimate to their new home.
We believe in welcoming all refugees and immigrant groups into our community. Our mission is to help connect individuals and families with support services, resources, and safe housing. The Refugee Welcome Corporation also advocates for education and other skill-building opportunities that contribute to the personal success and self-sufficiency of refugees, as they rebuild their lives and adjust to our diverse area. It’s a neighborhood hub bringing together residents, serving refugees and rebuilding the neighborhood. The goal is “to put neighbor back in the neighborhood.”