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Immigrant advocates roll out 'Welcome Mat Detroit'


This week, foreign-born people living in southeast Michigan have a new resource for things like social services or finding work.

Welcome Mat Detroit is a clearinghouse of information for the estimated 356,000 immigrants living in southeast Michigan.

Steve Tobocman is with Global Detroit. He says whether you're a refugee or a corporate executive, it can be tough to navigate life in a new country.

"Sometimes it's just advice on things like how do you register your children for school, or what are the steps to get a driver's license in the United States," said Tobocman.

Welcome Mat Detroit assembles about 200 organizations, and Tobocman says people can search by the language they speak, or the community where they live.

Tobocman's group advocates for bringing more immigrants to southeast Michigan as a way to grow the economy.

Immigrants can search the Web site “by the type of language they speak, or the area in the region they're living in, and locate the services they need to help them on their way toward integrating and satisfying the basic needs of living in Southeast Michigan,” Tobocman said.

The Web site was created with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Radio’s Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.