LOS ANGELES – The Board of Supervisors Tuesday proclaimed June “Refugee Awareness Month” in Los Angeles County.
The designation is meant to highlight county services provided to refugees forced to flee their home countries because of religious and political persecution, war and civil unrest, and to showcase the contributions made by those new residents.
“The decision to leave their country often involves unimaginable risks,” said Sheryl Spiller, director of the Department of Public Social Services. “In choosing Los Angeles County as their newfound home, we are afforded the opportunity to serve and assist them in rebuilding their lives — free from the harm, oppression and the violence they left behind.”
The department lauded Los Angeles County as “the most populated and culturally diverse county in America,” estimating that 140 cultures and as many as 224 languages co-exist here.
DPSS partners with the county’s public health department and community and faith-based organizations to help refugees start new lives, offering specialized employment and training services for up to five years.
The county’s month-long recognition coincides with California’s observance of “Refugee Awareness Month” and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees declaration of “World Refugee Day” on June 20.