Asian Services in Action Congratulates the International Welcome Center for Selection as Summit County’s New Refugee Resettlement Agency

Akron, April 18, 2024- Asian Services in Action (ASIA) has begun a new partnership with the International Welcome Center to support the resettlement of refugees in the Barberton, Kenmore, and South Akron area. The International Welcome Center was approved to work as a resettlement agency in Summit County and will receive their first refugee families by May. 

“The International Welcome Center is thrilled to be selected, in partnership with World Relief, to begin resettling refugees in the Greater Akron community,” said Christina Hodgkinson, Executive Director of the International Welcome Center. “The spirit of kindness, inclusion, and acceptance shines brightly in our great community and we are excited to have the opportunity through the power of love, service and friendship to support and empower refugees to rebuild their lives with hope and dignity.” 


Since the early 2000s, Akron has welcomed over 6,000 refugees from a wide range of communities including Bhutanese-Nepali, Ka’Ren, Afghan, Congolese, and Hmong. The North Hill area is now known as the city’s most diverse neighborhood, with up to thirty languages spoken among its residents. Refugee resettlement in Akron boosted population, small business formation, and economic growth after decades of depopulation.  

The International Welcome Center will collaborate with the city of Barberton, landlords, the Summit County Public Health, and school administrators to prepare for families as they first integrate into Northeast Ohio. 

ASIA and its Federally Qualified Health Center, the International Community Health Center (ICHC), look forward to working with the International Welcome Center to support refugees through social and health programs and services. ASIA’s ICHC is the main site for required refugee health screenings in Summit County, and the agency provides wraparound programs and services that support refugees beyond the first ninety days of arriving to their new home.  

“We are pleased to be partnering with another organization that will help welcome refugees to Summit County,” said Scott Piepho, interim Chief Executive Office of ASIA. “Refugee resettlement provides myriad benefits for communities as well as offering life-saving relief to people displaced from their home countries.  The International Welcome Center in Barberton is a smart, compassionate organization that will provide great community service. My staff and I look forward to working with them.” 

The International Welcome Center plans for approximately fifty individuals to resettle in the Barberton area by the end of September.  

ASIA is the largest health and human services agency that serves, supports, and advocates for the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community of Northeast Ohio. ASIA focuses on providing linguistically and culturally centered services for immigrants and refugees.  



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