Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

Center for New Americans

The U.S. is one of many countries around the world that is committed to resettling refugees as a part of a global humanitarian mission. This mission began after WWII when the U.S. resettled more than 250,000 displaced Europeans. According to the U.S. Department of State, resettling refugees “reflects our own tradition as a nation of immigrants and refugees. It is an important, enduring and ongoing expression of our commitment to international humanitarian principles.” Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their homeland because of war, persecution, and genocide. They are invited by other countries, like the United States, to resettle and make new lives.

LSS began providing resettlement services for refugees as early as 1948, when we resettled displaced people from Europe following World War II. While the origin of populations resettled will shift depending on current global conflicts, LSS continues to provide these services as an important part of our mission.

The LSS Center for New Americans helps refugees become self-sufficient through a variety of services, including community orientation, case management, employment services, English classes, citizenship classes and immigration services.

The Center for New Americans also has some services available for other immigrants who have come to the United States by choice, sometimes for the same reasons as refugees. Services we can provide for immigrants include English language training, immigration services and citizenship classes.

Click on these videos to hear the stories of Tej, a refugee woman resettled in Sioux Falls through the Center for New Americans, and Maria, a volunteer who is a mentor for a refugee family.