Erie is proud to be a member of Welcoming America, a network organization that helps Erie unleash the power of New Americans, create a stronger community, and gain economic advantage. Erie is a Certified Welcoming city – the highest designation reserved for cities and counties that meet rigorous requirements defining what it means to be a welcoming community.
Resources for Immigrants, Refugees, and New Americans
City of Erie Immigrant and Refugee Liaison Saeed Taraky at 814-870-1345 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Erie Director of Communications Rob Lee at 814-870-1285 or email: email@example.com
US Citizen and Immigration Services
- Apply and renew Green Card: https://www.uscis.gov/greencard
- Apply for US Citizenship: https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship
- Need help to prepare applying for US Citizenship: http://www.mcrcerie.org
- Civil Surgeon: Multi-Cultural Health Evaluation Delivery System, Inc (MHEDS): http://www.mheds.org
- Immigration Legal Issue, call: Erie County Bar Association: 814-459-3111 or visit their website: https://www.eriebar.com
Know Your Rights
New American Council
Representatives of the Organizations
- Erie County Department of Health, eriecountypa.gov/departments/health:
Alivia Haibach Alivia Haibach was born and raised in the United States. She graduated from Allegheny College in 2013 with a degree in International Relations, with a focus on the MENA region. She completed a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Gannon University. She works at Welcoming America as the Northeast Regional Manager. After graduating from Allegheny, she lived internationally in China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. Living overseas, especially in places where her majority spoken-language skills were limited, gave her a healthy dose of perspective on how difficult navigating unfamiliar government systems can be. “We cannot succeed as a city if everyone cannot receive equitable opportunities in Erie,” said Haibach. “We should honor and respect New Americans and become a true welcoming city where all people are respected and treated in equitable ways. Erie has served as a major resettlement destination in the past. It is large enough to have the key infrastructure newly resettled refugees rely on but small enough that the cost of living is affordable. I really enjoy my work and look forward to seeing more New Americans in Erie.”
- USCRI-Erie/International Institute of Erie (IIE), refugees.org:
Dylanna Grasinger moved to Erie in 2012 to assume the Executive Director position at USCRI Erie, after leading human services agencies in the Midwest, Pittsburgh, and Akron, Ohio. Dylanna currently serves as a Senior Field Director of USCRI. She was drawn to northwest Pennsylvania’s potential and quickly realized that Erie County was the place she wanted to grow her roots. Dylanna understands that people are what make Erie County special, and this is what connects her to the community. Having worked with refugees and immigrants for over two decades, she understands the importance of a diverse and inclusive community. Experienced in a variety of direct service and administrative functions, including grant writing, curriculum design, teaching, program evaluation, fiscal management, volunteer management, and program development, Dylanna combines her commitment to refugees and immigrants with her superpower of simplifying complex issues to create strong client-centered programming and long-lasting systemic change that works. In addition to her work leading USCRI Erie for the past nine years, Dylanna volunteers her time with the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters and is a board member with Bike Erie, the Multicultural Healthcare Evaluation Delivery System (MHEDS), and the UPMC Hamot Diversity Committee. She is one of the leading organizers of Boulevard Park Association in 2016, an Erie neighborhood group working to connect neighbors. Dylanna earned her B.A. in English from Kent State University, where she also received certification in teaching English as a Second Language. She also earned a Master of Science degree in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Creighton University.
- USCRI-Erie/International Institute of Erie (IIE), refugees.org:
Senada Alihodzic has worked at the International Institute of Erie/USCRI Erie since 1994. She has experience in all Refuge Service Programs, including case management, refugee social Services, and coordination of several federal, state, and local grant programs. She has attended numerous trainings related to her various positions. She is presently working with different refugee groups as a certified Relationship Enhancement Trainer in community outreach services and language services. She is fluent in Bosnian. Senada values and respects different ethnic groups and cultures as well as the Erie community. She believes that wealth is precisely this diversity, that we can learn something from each other every day and that would increase not only our own knowledge and tolerance but enrich the Erie community as a whole. She currently serves as the Director of USCRI Erie field office.
- Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services, cccas.org:
Originally academically prepared as a nurse, Dawn Joy attained her BSN from Villa Maria College, as well as an MSN degree from West Virginia University. In addition, she also earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Gannon University. Dawn has experience in a variety of clinical and administrative roles in diverse healthcare settings and has an extensive background in higher education, both as faculty and in leadership roles. In addition, she has served as principal investigator for multiple grants as well as extensive volunteer and governance involvement with several non-profit organizations. Dawn was recently appointed as CEO of Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services, which includes a robust Refugee Resettlement program. The Refugee Resettlement program helps newly arrived refugees from all over the world begin a new life here in Erie. The program provides case management services, employment services and language/orientation services to help refugees adjust to life in the United States and to become economically and emotionally self-sufficient.
- Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services, cccas.org:
Nandu Subedi was born in Bhutan and came to the United States in 2008. After settling in Erie, Nandu took a job with Catholic Charities where he has worked in Immigration and Refugee services, in which he has helped many members of his community come to America, and Erie.
- Multicultural Community Resource Center, mcrcerie.org:
Katie Kretz was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and moved to Erie in 2008. She attended Averett University where she studied Business Administration and Equestrian Studies and furthered her education in Organizational Leadership. Katie served twelve years with local human service agencies, providing services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism. She also participated in the Leadership Erie program of 2012. Katie has held board of director positions with the Barber National Institute, and she is currently serving as a board member for Voices4Autism. She has a passion for helping people realize their full potential and achieve personal growth and success. Katie’s focus is on building collaborative relationships within the Erie community to serve refugee, immigrant, and New American families and children. Regarding her role, Katie stated: “It is truly an honor to be given the opportunity to lead MCRC as Executive Director. I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and am looking forward to working with the already dynamic and experienced team at MCRC, in addition to local and state officials, affiliates, and our partners to shape that future for the refugee and immigrant families who are calling Erie, PA their home.” The Multicultural Community Resource Center provides a variety of educational and employment programs to the Immigrant and Refugee populations in Erie in a customer-focused manner. The service needs of the clients are of prime importance. All services promote client self-sufficiency and improved economic, physical, and/or social well-being.
- Multicultural Community Resource Center, mcrcerie.org:
Lawrence Sapienza is a lifelong Erie resident. I currently serve as the Refugee Social Services Director at the Multicultural Community Resource Center. Lawrence also serves on the Board of Directors for Erie Events, and is a member of the Board’s Human Resources Committee. Prior to joining MCRC, Lawrence served for 18 years as a Pennsylvania State Constable, after having spent many years in various management positions locally. He is a proud father to Jonathan Sapienza, a 2020 Cathedral Prep graduate and 2023 Gannon University graduate. Lawrence coached youth travel baseball throughout his son’s baseball career and is proud to have coached the Erie Outlaws 12U team to a 2015 Cooperstown Baseball World championship.
- Multi-cultural Health Evaluation Delivery System, Inc., mheds.org:
Jessica “Jess” Hughes, MHEDS’ CEO, holds a Master’s degree in public health with a concentration in policy and advocacy from Thomas Jefferson University. She joined the Erie community in late 2022 as an energetic industry executive with a passion for service. Hughes last served at Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc. (DVCH), a private, non-profit healthcare organization that operates nine Federally Qualified Health Centers in the greater Philadelphia region. She began her career in service as a two-time AmeriCorps member, serving across the country with FEMA and at DVCH in Philadelphia. Following her terms with AmeriCorps, Hughes was hired by DVCH to aid in implementing public health projects, eventually being promoted to support the public affairs and compliance department. Hughes is a Wisconsin native, having graduated from the University of Wisconsin system with a degree in international business. She is an avid reader, amateur chef, and travel enthusiast.
- Multi-cultural Health Evaluation Delivery System, Inc., mheds.org:
Anna Tischenko is a native of Kyrgyzstan, one of the Middle Asian countries that borders China and Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan was once a part of the USSR, and obtained its independence in 1991. Anna’s native language is Russian. She graduated from Bishkek Humanities University with a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in English Language and English Literature. Since arriving in the United States in 2004, and has worked in various roles assisting refugee families to adapt successfully and achieve self-sufficiency in their new home country. As a Refugee Health Coordinator at Multi-Cultural Health Evaluation Delivery System (MHEDS), she is among the first people New Americans meet when they seek healthcare services. She helps them navigate our complex healthcare system, educates them on how to seek medical care and advocates for all patients at MHEDS to obtain adequate medical care.
- Erie County Department of Health, eriecountypa.gov/departments/health:
Zakaria Sharif earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and a minor in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University, the Behrend College. He began working for the Erie County Department of Health in the spring of 2020 as a Public Health Educator in the Northwest Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Program. His work is focused on community interventions, tobacco policy, and advocacy. His experience in consulting with clients and planning community initiatives lends itself to tobacco prevention and education. Zakaria has the ability to connect with a wide variety of individuals and establish trusting relationships. He speaks three languages: Somalian, Swahili, and English, easing communication barriers with many New Americans residing in the City of Erie. Additionally, he has established strong partnerships with the Minority Community Investment Coalition (MCIC), and has begun collaborating on an Enhanced Screening Project designed to address health issues with the most vulnerable and underserved population in the city. Zakaria’s job responsibilities include outreach to worksites, multi-unit housing facilities, parks, and playgrounds to educate these organizations on the benefits of becoming tobacco-free. He promotes the elimination of secondhand smoke exposure and provides technical assistance for creating policies to establish tobacco-free spaces. He conducts visits with legislators to educate them on tobacco issues and encourage them to support legislation that advances these objectives; including supporting Master Settlement Agreement funding. Zakaria’s goal as a Public Health Educator is to embrace the mission of tobacco prevention and to provide Erie County residents with the information that will lead to healthier lives for smokers and non-smokers alike.
- F. Smith Quality of Life Learning Center, uecdc.org:
Gary Horton currently works with the Rev. E. F. Smith Quality of Life Learning Center. He also works with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as the president of the Erie Chapter. Gary is a supporter of the aspirations of New Americans in Erie. Gary has an appreciation of being a New American due to this history of slavery in the United States. Through his ancestry, Gary has gained an appreciation of New Americans and their placement in the Erie community today. Gary considers himself a religious person and believes that the church is a welcoming place for all. He wants New Americans to be able to utilize their skills, which will allow them to prosper in the Erie community. Gary believes the school system must serve the challenges that New Americans face when it comes to education and communication with students. He would like to learn more ways the City can maximize its return under the American Rescue Plan. This money can help to prioritize and fuel the dreams of marginalized groups while cultivating hope. Gary would also like to discuss a county resolution to declare racism as a public health issue and explore more opportunities to bring this situation to light.
- St. Benedict Education Center, sbec.eriebenedictines.org:
Taha Najem works for the St. Benedict Education Center as a case manager. He addresses the needs of refugees in the Employment Advancement and Retention Network. In addition, Taha works with clients in the Refugee Social Services Program which is subcontracted by Erie’s Multicultural Community Resource Center. He works with refugees who have been in the United States for less than five years, and helps them with various services they need. Taha is a member of the New American Council and serves the council in its efforts to make Erie a safe and responsive environment for New Americans. Taha received his Bachelor’s degree in English and Literature while in Iraq. In 2003, Taha began a job with the United States Army’s Civil Service Team, which needed Arabic translators. Due to sectarian violence, he applied for a visa and moved to the United States with his wife and four children. Taha encourages New Americans to become United States citizens. He believes there should be avenues for immigrants and refugees to get the help they need to take the civics test and become self-sufficient community members. Preserving culture is important to Taha, and he believes we should find more ways to support New Americans to preserve their culture once they immigrate to Erie.
- Amicangelo & Theisen, amicangelotheisen.com:
Alexandria (Alie) Iwanenko is an immigration attorney at Amicangelo & Theisen in Erie. In 2017, she graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo with a degree in International Relations. She then served as a Lake Effect Leaders AmeriCorps VISTA worker at United Way of Erie County working on the community schools initiative. Following her year of service, she attended Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh and received her Juris Doctorate in 2021. Alie and her husband moved back to Erie, and now call it home. Alie has traveled to over a dozen countries, learning about different cultures, languages, and foreign affairs. Alie is a Board Member for MHEDS, Northwestern Legal Services, and The Academy for Human Rights. She also is an active member on multiple committees in the Erie County Bar Association. Alie is the daughter of a first-generation American and granddaughter of immigrants, which allows her to empathize with a variety of her client’s immigration matters.
- American Association of University Women (AAUW) Erie Branch Website: https://www.aauwerie.org/ Sharmin Khundker is the past President of the Erie Asian Pacific American Association (Erie APAA), a member of the mayor’s New American Council and currently serves as the Co-VP Program of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Erie Branch. She obtained both a bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry and a doctoral degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Northumbria, UK. She immigrated from Bangladesh to the United States in 1996 when she married her husband, who was a graduate student at the time. Sharmin also worked for a year as an analytical chemist in a contract pharmaceutical company. Ten years later (2006), Sharmin received her green card, and five years later after that (2011), received her US citizenship. Sharmin’s roles in Erie APAA and the New American Council have allowed new Americans to both showcase their cultures through various avenues in the city, and also to network among themselves to form close, cultural communities that support the values of diversity and inclusion alike. Her work has allowed us to integrate new Americans into the greater Erie community, and expand the roles they play in it. Although there are bridges/organizations currently being put in place for new Americans, such as the New American Council, Sharmin would like to see more done to assure that new Americans have an opportunity to utilize their skills throughout the city. She would like to discuss further and more effective ways that new Americans can gain representation as well. One of Sharmin’s biggest focuses is the reduction of the language barrier and the creation of wider access to transparent, clear communication between the New American communities and Erie’s other stakeholders.
- Erie Asian Pacific American Association
Amanpreet Oberoi is a Registered Nurse by profession, with a Masters in Public Administration. She is a health manager at Gannon University and serves as Gannon’s Global Health Liaison. She is also the Commissioner for the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian-Pacific American Affairs. She is the President of Erie Asian American Pacific Association (ErieAPAA). She is originally from the Northern part of India and migrated in 2004 to the United States to advance her career. Since then she has lived in different states, including Florida, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and now Pennsylvania. She moved to Erie in 2014 as her husband, Dr. Naval Udgiri, took a job as a vascular surgeon at Saint Vincent Hospital. She started by being a volunteer for ErieAPAA and then became the organization’s Indian Representative. While in that role her notable organizational contributions include Multicultural Asia Day at Experience Children’s Museum and at CelebrateErie. Besides these, the Asian Festival and Taste of Asia are some of the key events that she is proud to have been a part of. During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, Erie-APAA donated hand-stitched masks to local hospitals and schools. She has always promoted collaboration with different organizations like Erie arts and culture to promote local Asian artists. She also started the ErieAPAA Youth Wing whereby kids from grade six and up can join and volunteer for different causes that ErieAPAA supports.
- Gannon University gannon.edu
Anjali Sahay, Ph.D. is an author, educator, leader, researcher, and performing artist who works at Gannon University as a Professor of International Relations and Political Science and serves as the Director of the School of Public Service and Global Affairs. Originally from India, Anjali moved to the United States to pursue her doctoral degree in International Studies from Old Dominion University. She has various publications including her book titled: Indian Diaspora in the United States: Brain Drain or Gain? and other interviews on current affairs and Asian Americans in TIME, CNBC, Financial Times, ABC News, and Erie Times-News. Anjali was also featured by Erie Times-News during Women’s History Month in 2021. Passionate about serving AAPI communities in northwest Pennsylvania, she has served two terms on Governor Wolf’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs where she collaborated with the other Commissioner in organizing the first ever Townhall for AAPI communities in the city of Erie, mobilizing for census and voting, and showcasing AAPI artists during the APA Heritage Month. Additionally, she serves as Secretary for Indian Association of Greater Erie to advance Indian culture and heritage to the local community. Anjali has actively promoted Indian classical dance Kathak to the local community through performances in TEDxPSUBehrend, CelebrateErie, Asian Festivals, and the Erie Dance Festival.
- Ammarah Asad
Ammarah Asad was born in Pakistan, and moved to America in 2001. She is a physician and worked as an ultrasound instructor and technician for 6 years in New Jersey. Ms. Asad is a member of the Mayor’s New American Council, The membership chairperson of AAUW, and Pakistani representative for the Erie APAA. Being part of these organizations gives her an opportunity to give back to the community and contribute to the effort to make Erie a diverse and welcoming city. Her husband is a physician and she is the proud mother of two children; her son is a physician and her daughter has completed her Master’s degree in business.
- Asla Alkhafaji
Asla Alkhafaji was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. She arrived in the United States as a refugee with her family in September 2014, and her journey to live the American dream has been ongoing since then. Asla’s social and leadership skills, in addition to her fluency in two languages, helped her in becoming a member of the Erie community. Asla earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gannon University. Asla currently works as a program coordinator at AHN Saint Vincent Hospital one of her main goals in this role is to increase diversity in her facility. She has also interned with the governor’s office of Pennsylvania, worked in the Erie courthouse, and volunteered in our community.
- Bhim Gurung
Bhim Gurung works as a chief marketing officer at A Plus United Home Care. He was born in Bhutan. In 1992, the ongoing political crisis in Bhutan forced him into exile. Since his family was able to speak Nepalese, the country Nepal gave them a small area to live in as refugees. Bhim was 12 years old when he arrived in Nepal. He and his family had to stay in a small, bamboo hut in Nepal, but fortunately CARITAS NEPAL (under UNHCR) provided them with education. His family struggled for nutrition since the amount of food provided by UNHCR was not sufficient. His parents had to go outside the camp and work for local people, because they were not allowed to work good paying, professional jobs. In 2012, he arrived in Erie, USA with his family. His parents struggled to adapt to the new environment. They were uneducated and the new environment was totally different from Nepal. After his arrival, Bhim started working at a store. This paid little, but it was enough to support his family along with public welfare assistance. He started working in the Erie Casino simultaneously, and the casino paid better. In 2014, he realized his community needed a grocery store within walking distance and opened a convenience store.
- Benjamin Aysan
Benjamin Aysan was born and raised in Turkey. He started his career as a chemistry teacher. He moved to America with his wife and two children in 2010 and has managed Turkish Cultural Centers in Portland and Salt Lake City. He is currently working as Executive Director of Erie Turkish Cultural Center and Community Outreach Coordinator of Turkish Cultural Center Pittsburgh. He is a professional calligraphy artist and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
- Dharma Gurung
Dharma Gurung was born in India. She moved to Nepal in 1992 as a Bhutanese refugee. She came to Erie in 2011 to pursue the American dream. Dharma says, ” I struggled a lot when I arrived in the USA. I had lots of problems including the language barrier, financial issues, and adapting to a new environment. I used to do 2-3 jobs every day after I came to the USA at the beginning to survive. America is a land of opportunity. If you work hard, you can grab lots of nice opportunities to achieve your dream. Hard work pays off.” She started her own business in 2018 in Erie and her business is doing very well.
- Edin Selimovic
Edin Selimovic was born and raised in Bosnia. He works at the Erie Community Corrections Center. He completed his high school in 1991 in Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1992-2000, he served in the Bosnian army. Edin is a survivor of the Srebrenica Genocide of 1995. He arrived in the United States in 2001 with his family. While he says the process of coming to this country was difficult, once here he could easily adjust to living in the US because of the many challenges he had faced in Bosnia. He was not able to speak English after he came to this country. Gradually he learned English and worked hard to achieve his goals and dreams. He graduated from Sarajevo University in 2001, with a major in Criminal Justice. Edin also graduated from Mercyhurst University, earning a degree in criminal justice in 2008.
- Fatima Ali Mohammed
Sister Fatima Ali Mohammed aka “Big Mama” is originally from Sudan. She worked in Ghana and in 1996 migrated to the US as a refugee. Since coming to the United States she has worked in human development as well as working with Women Refugees from Africa.
- Haieda Sharifi
Haieda Sharifi is originally from Afghanistan. Prior to her migration to the United States, Haieda was a law and politics student at Kabul University. Currently, Haieda serves at the USCRI Erie as an RSS Case Manager, and is a student at Gannon University.
- Hayan Aloush
Hayan left Syria in 2013, and he and his family lived in Jordan for three years. They then came to the United States and settled in Erie. Hayan had the opportunity to attend school and learn English, and in 2020 graduated from Erie High School. He is currently studying at Gannon University, majoring in Biology. Also, Hayan is establishing a new nonprofit organization “Syrian Community Center” to help the Syrian Community with their needs and to learn American culture.
- Marwah Obaid
Marwah Obaid is a faculty member at Gannon University. She is originally from Iraq and traveled to the USA as a student to finish her master’s degree back in 2017. Marwah graduated with a master’s degree in computer and information science from Gannon University back in December 2019. She worked as a research analyst at LECOM between May 2020 and August 2022. While she was a student at Gannon University, Marwah was accepted into the Pennsylvania House Fellowship Program and worked as a legislative fellow in Harrisburg. Marwah also graduated from Jefferson Educational Society, earning a Civic Leadership Certificate back in 2019. Marwah has volunteered to serve the community; some of her contributions included interpreter for “Summer of Hope” event organized by the city of Erie, committee member and event organizer for “Celebrate Erie”, volunteering in the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant to serve dinner for homeless people. Marwah also works as the student membership development chair for IEEE (institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers” at Gannon University. She is also a member of various community groups such as Global Friends, One Table, and Women at Work.
- Dr. Mohammad Iqbal
Dr. Mohammad Iqbal was born and raised in Afghanistan. He graduated high school from Dubai, UAE. He started his MD studies in Moscow, Russia, but subsequently relocated to China to complete his medical degree. After earning his Master’s degree in General Surgery and fellowship in Trauma Surgery, he went to Pakistan for additional training. He worked as a Trauma Surgeon with the U.S. Military in Afghanistan and was forced to flee the country in 2021 following the collapse of the Afghan government shortly after the U.S. forces withdrew from the country. He managed to come to the US with his wife and 1-year-old daughter. He works as a Clinical Assistant at MHEDS Clinic and is trying to get back into practice as a medical doctor.
- Nanda Chuwan
Nanda Chuwan is originally from Bhutan. In the 1990s, during an ethnic cleansing in the country, his family moved to Nepal as refugees and lived there for 17 years. While living in Nepal, Nanda received his master’s degree in business studies and taught economics at a high school. After 17 years, the United States provided Nanda and his family an opportunity to immigrate to America. In 2009 he moved to Erie and has since become the Board Secretary of the Bhutanese Community Association.
- Paul Jericho
Before retiring, Paul Jericho spent over 32 years working on immigrant and refugee policy. He was the Executive Director of the International Institute. Before becoming director of the Institute, he gained an interest in working with immigrants and refugees while working at the Institute. He also worked for the State Department dealing with Kurds living in Iraq. Towards the end of his career, he volunteered at MRC, doing taxes for immigrants and refugees without charging a fee, something he still does today.
- Seerajie Dexter
Seerajie moved to America and settled in Dayton, Ohio. She attended school in Dayton and later moved to Michigan. After living there for 15 years she moved to Edinboro and then finally to Erie for her children’s education. She currently works in the City of Erie Finance Dept.
- Walaa Ahmad
Walaa works for Penn State Behrend as the Assistant Director of the Office of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs. This office works closely with underrepresented and minority groups and other students to guide and support students in planning educational, social, and cultural events, student leadership involvement, mentorship, and promoting diversity and respect. She serves as a member of the New American Council and helps to share information and opportunities with New Americans in the community. Walaa is also involved as a member of the Better Together Council, where the focus is on Racial Justice Policy Initiative for Erie, and also serves on the board of directors for the Urban Erie Community Development Corporation/E. F. Smith Quality of Life Learning Center. Walaa’s family is from Eritrea, but due to war and a dictator in power, her family left seeking peace in Sudan, Iraq, and Jordan. Twenty years ago, her family arrived in the United States. In 2008 she became a United States citizen. Walaa would like to see more employment opportunities for New Americans and other minority groups, and support for New Americans who are looking to start their own businesses. In addition, home ownership is an important area of discussion for Walaa. She believes there should be programs or opportunities for New Americans to learn the financial and legal processes to owning a home.
Driver’s License & ID, Learn to Drive and Bus Route & Schedule
Citizenship and PA Refugee Resettlement Data
From June 2013 to March 2023, the City of Erie has welcomed 3337 newly sworn United States Citizens from 110 countries of origin.
|06/2013 to 03/2023
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines
|Trinidad and Tobago
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Refugees Resettlement Data
- International Institute of Erie (IIE): refugees.org/field-office/erie
- Multicultural Community Resource Center (MCRC): mcrcerie.org
Both International Institute of Erie (IIE) and Multicultural Community Resource Center (MCRC) are not only providing language services such as translation and interpretation, they also offer English as a Second Language Program. Another place to learn English would be:
- Multi-Cultural Health Evaluation Delivery System, Inc (MHEDS): http://www.mheds.org/
- Erie County Health Department: https://eriecountypa.gov/departments/health/
- Community Health Net: http://www.community-healthnet.com/
- Wayne Primary Care: https://primary-health.net/
- Mental Health Counseling and Drug & Alcohol: Catholic Charities:https://www.cccas.org/
Starting a new business, looking for a job, investment, etc.
- City of Erie, Department of Economic and Community Development
- Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership: https://www.eriepa.com/
- NWPA CareerLink: https://www.nwpajobconnect.org/careerlink
- International Institute of Erie (IIE): https://refugees.org/field-office/erie/
- Multicultural Community Resource Center (MCRC): http://www.mcrcerie.org/
Filing Tax Returns
Need help to prepare tax, contact United Way, Erie Free Taxes: https://www.unitedwayerie.org/ErieFreeTaxes
- Fire, Police or Medical Emergency, call: 911
- Erie Police Department, Non-emergency, call: 814-870-1125
- Erie Police Department, Officer in Charge, call: 814-870-1120
- Emergycare, general questions call: 814-870-1010
Non-emergency transportation, call: 814-870-1020 or visit https://www.emergycare.org
How to get help with utility hookups
Welcome to Erie, Pennsylvania. We know that moving can be a difficult transition. Below, you will find a list of resources you may need to have prior or during the move into your new residence.
For Electric, please visit: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/penelec.html
For Natural Gas, please visit: https://www.nationalfuelgas.com/utility/forHome/pa/pares.aspx
For Water, please visit: https://www.eriewater.org/
For Sewer issues, please visit: https://cityof.erie.pa.us/government/department-of-public-works/bureau-of-sewers/
For general questions and information, whether it is finding childcare, food assistance, care for an aging parent, or utility assistance, dial 211 on your telephone. The United Way of Erie County’s trained resource navigators specialize in assisting you with the help you need. You can also visit https://www.unitedwayerie.org/our-impact/family-stability/2-1-1/ to learn more about their program.
Multilingual How-to Videos
Multilingual videos on services and important dates for the City of Erie, PA
G4G New American Economy Report
Welcoming America Certification Program