The Cache Refugee and Immigrant Connection, CRIC, is a non-profit organization based in Logan that aims to connect the refugee and immigrant community with services in northern Utah.
Danny Beus is the executive director for the Cache Refugee and Immigrant Connection. He told us about the refugee community in Cache Valley and the organization’s goals.
“When it comes to refugee families, there are about 800 to 1,000 refugee families in Logan," Beus said. "Our goals are obviously to help refugees and immigrants here in Cache Valley. We help them become integrated into our community, and also to be more self-sufficient, economically and in every aspect of life, so we provide services to help them and to help our community as well understand more, and learn more, and be educated about refugee issues and immigration issues.”
CRIC promotes many programs with the goal of helping refugees succeed.
“We currently have many programs that we work on," he said. "We have our most popular program: walk-in hours. During walk-in hours people can come to our offices [on] Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoons and they can get any help they need. We help with processing certain immigration forms to just translating mail. We also have a community garden where we have refugee families grow produce in the summer, we also offer citizenship study groups, and driver’s license study groups to help people with their citizenship process and driver’s license access. We also have a housing advocacy program that really picked up during the pandemic, helping people with housing needs, which is a really big issue in Cache Valley.”
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the organization's mission, but it did not affect its efforts in helping the community and providing for the hundreds of refugee families in Cache Valley.
“CRIC was affected a lot by the pandemic," Beus said. "When there was a COVID outbreak in a meat-packing plant, CRIC, along with other community partners stepped up to provide food, and we delivered food to people’s homes. We also helped with other products that they needed so that they can stay in their homes instead of coming out infecting other people, so our mission totally changed. People of color especially were disproportionately affected by the COVID pandemic, and that’s not different here in Logan.”
CRIC continues growing and creating new ways to facilitate comfort and accessibility to the refugee and immigrant community.
“Our future is definitely bright. We mentioned that we are expanding our services," Beus said. "We also hope to expand the financial literacy aspect of things, we really hope to be able to help people become economically self-sufficient and help them navigate to the financial institutions that are so different in the United States than in other countries. We hope to partner with local banks to be able to help our clients be able to build credit and eventually be homeowners, so that is a goal that we really want to accomplish. Also, something else that we hope to bring to our clients: mental health services. A lot of refugees and immigrants don’t really get mental health services. They go through extreme trauma, and they are not able to talk about these issues that they go through, so we are seeing our clients ask for these services, so we really want to start bringing mental health awareness to the refugee and immigrant community.”
For more information about the Cache Refugee and Immigrant Connection, visit cacherefugees.org