WHO IS “BUILDING ONE COMMUNITY - THE CENTER FOR IMMIGRANT OPPORTUNITY”?
In 2011, we opened our doors to become a welcoming point of entry for newcomers from all parts of the world. Immigrants who relied on a patchwork of services in a system that didn’t fully understand their needs – and those who went without any help at all – discovered a place that we created with them in mind. Since then, thousands of Stamford-area immigrants and non-immigrants have come together to build one stronger community.
We were founded as an affiliate of Neighbors Link Network, a Westchester-based organization focused on immigrant needs. After the expiration of our 5-year affiliate agreement, we rebranded as Building One Community (B1C), a name that captures the heart of our mission to advance the successful integration of immigrants and their families.
Planning & Research Set Priorities
Driven by passion and determination, the founders come together to understand immigrants' needs in Stamford, CT. They conduct significant research and partner outreach and identify the building at 75 Selleck Street.
Neighbors Link @ 75 Selleck, Stamford, CT Launches!
Over 200 community members join the celebration! Our earliest programs are all volunteer-led, focused on high priorities identified by immigrant community members during our planning. Programs encompass flexible English Language Learning classes, resume help, hiring site, computer training, plus more.
New Strategic Plan Steers Our Expansion
Together with our board, we create our first strategic plan. Significantly expanding our programs and partners, we serve almost 1,200 participants.
Rapid Participant Growth Continues
Over 1,000 new students join, +24% versus the prior year, and successful workers center placement grow +30%. Among many "firsts", we launch free tax preparation services and our annual breakfast. We also deepen our relationships with Stamford Public Schools.
Measuring Outcomes & Impacts of Programming
We launch satisfaction measures to ensure program effectiveness is evaluated. New Drive Only License Program with the DMV is a game-changer, helping hundreds of immigrants gain access to driver's licenses and improving public safety!
Win Neighbors Builder Award
Bank of America recognizes us with the prestigious Neighbors Builder Award. Anka Badurina, our current Executive Director, joins the team to develop and direct our skills development program. Hundreds of community members come together to paint the joyous mural featured in our center. Our program helps 2,300+ participants.
Rebranding & Introducing B1C
We end our affiliation with Neighbors Link and launch as Building One Community. We successfully expand to meet community needs, launching certificate-based, skill-building programs with multiple tracks. Our new Parent Organizing Program (POWER) ensures that schools meet the needs of immigrants. B1C supports 2,500 participants from 56 countries.
Focus on Immigration Legal Services and POWER
We hire an expert immigration attorney to support legal assistance. We accelerate our parent organizing group, POWER, to empower parents to gain attention and support at the Stamford Public Schools.
Launch Immigrant Community Needs Assessment (ICNA)
By understanding local needs and determining how to meet those needs through existing and new services, B1C is strongly prepared to shape our future programming and strategic plans. We serve 3,387 active program participants from 71 countries.
Serving our 10,000th Participant!
We expand our center and open a new satellite office on Stamford's east side. Offering a range of crucial services that Educate, Employ, Empower, and Engage immigrants, we support over 10,400 participants from 102 countries.
Pivot with Purpose
Thanks to the strength and generosity of our incredible community, B1C nimbly pivots in response to the unexpected upheaval of COVID-19. We adapt our programs to support people online and create new emergency assistance programs. B1C supports over 11,500 participants from 106 countries.
Racial Equity. COVID-19 Relief. Programs & Services Address a New Norm
We are happy to report that we’ve reached nearly $1.2 million in passthrough or directed aid since the beginning of the pandemic, thanks to our donors and to partners like 4-CT, the State Rental Relief Program, and United Way of Western CT.
Looking ahead, B1C is excited to begin to reach more immigrants than ever before. We are grateful to our hundreds of partners, volunteers, and donors throughout Fairfield County.
Join us - together we strive to advance the successful integration of immigrants and their families.