Who founded the Somali CSC?Somali Community Services Coalition was founded in 1995 by a group of Somali elders who recognized the need for social services among the East African community of King County. In 1999, Somali CSC was incorporated as a 501(C)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization in Washington state. We are the first Somali community-based organization to be contracted by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) for social services.
What happened in Somalia?There has not been a functional government in Somali since 1991. The dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown by rebelling clans in 1991, and the country descended into chaos when a new ruling party could not be agreed upon. Between 1991 and 1992, approximately half of the country's population was displaced due to the ongoing civil war, and by mid-1993 it was estimated that 300,000 Somalis lost their lives. Clan warfare continues to ravage the Horn of Africa nation, and Somalia is consistently labeled as a "failed state." Today, it is estimated that there are over 1 million Somali refugees scattered across the world, many lingering in refugee camps in Kenya.
How many Somalis live in King County?The majority of Somalis living in King County arrived as refugees. Every year, the United States welcomes refugees from across the world to seek safety within its borders. They are brought to the United States by the federal government, non-profit organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, and the United Nations after intensive interviews and screening overseas. With an estimated population of 30,000 Somalis, King County has the third largest community in the United States. The office of Somali CSC is also located in the Tukwila School District, the #1 most-diverse school district in the United States, according to the New York Times.
- Tukwila School District: #1 Most-Diverse School District
What issues do Somali refugees face once in the United States?Somali refugees confront a myriad of challenges upon arriving in the United States. These include a literacy barrier that compounds the language barrier, cultural divergence, post-traumatic stress, depression, lack of previous education as well as difficulties finding living-wage employment. The federal government and non-profit resettlement agencies like the IRC seek to support them through initial employment and housing for up to six months, but community-based organizations like Somali CSC are critical to providing long-term assistance and empowering the community.
How can I help?You can positively affect the lives of refugees by volunteer and/or donating. Donations are used for many of our programs, educational equipment, and supplies. Volunteers are invaluable resources to the lives of the Somali community. See our Donation, Volunteer, and Program pages or get in touch with us today at 206-431-5141 to learn how you can help our beloved community.