The refugee resettlement program in the United States must encourage both the formation of refugee communities and integration within the larger community. I propose a multiuse building to strengthen refugee communities [bonding social networks] and connect refugees to the larger community [bridging social networks]. Both of these connections are essential for refugees to become integrated in a community. The building will be run by Lutheran Social Services who currently assists in the resettlement of refugees in the Springfield, Massachusetts area, with assistance in funding from the Wilson-Fish Discretionary Grant Program which provides financial support for alternative models of resettlement.
In order to encourage the formation of bonding social networks, the building includes temporary refugee housing [20 units from one to four bedrooms] and communal spaces [community room and kitchen, cultivation areas, small religious space]. In order to build bridging social networks with the outside community, the program includes a small school for language and vocational training, Lutheran Social Services offices, retail spaces, a rentable event hall, and an exterior event space/market.
Clarke, Kelly Lynne, "Creating Social Networks: Resettlement Center for Burmese Refugees" (2011). Architecture Theses. 91.