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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Bose, Pablo Shiladitya
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    The theory and practice of sustainability involve engaging a delicate balance between often competing interests, usually defined in terms of the ecological, economic, and social arenas. The complexities apparent in balancing such tensions become especially evident if we consider transportation equity, specifically in the context of urban planning and managing both population growth and demographic change. This paper examines issues of access, transportation, and sustainability – in its myriad forms – for refugees settling in Vermont. With relatively homogenous populations and a lack of resettlement services common to many traditional immigrant destinations, small towns in Vermont present a particular challenge for refugees arriving from diverse locations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Drawing on the extant literature regarding sustainable transportation, spatial mismatch, accessibility, and environmental justice, this paper details the results of a community-based project using surveys and key informant interviews in order to explore the transportation...

    The theory and practice of sustainability involve engaging a delicate balance between often competing interests, usually defined in terms of the ecological, economic, and social arenas. The complexities apparent in balancing such tensions become especially evident if we consider transportation equity, specifically in the context of urban planning and managing both population growth and demographic change. This paper examines issues of access, transportation, and sustainability – in its myriad forms – for refugees settling in Vermont. With relatively homogenous populations and a lack of resettlement services common to many traditional immigrant destinations, small towns in Vermont present a particular challenge for refugees arriving from diverse locations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Drawing on the extant literature regarding sustainable transportation, spatial mismatch, accessibility, and environmental justice, this paper details the results of a community-based project using surveys and key informant interviews in order to explore the transportation experiences and challenges faced by refugees in Vermont. In particular, the paper looks at gaps that refugees have identified in existing infrastructure as well as modes and hierarchies of transportation choice. Additionally, the paper examines the attempt to include refugee perspectives in regional transportation planning initiatives, including one county's federally supported sustainable communities plan. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Halpern, Peggy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    A refugee is a person outside of his or her own country and unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (ORR, 2007b).  Refugees are fleeing their homes as a result of violent conflict or other disruption.  Some spend many long years in refugee camps, cut off from normal life, and they may experience physical hardship and psychological trauma (IRC).

    It is the historic policy of the United States to admit to this country refugees of special humanitarian concern, reflecting our core values and our tradition of being a safe haven for the oppressed (ORR, 2007c).  Thus, refugees who are resettled in the United States are given legal immigration status. Furthermore, because they often lack the basic foundation to rebuild their lives in the United States, they are assisted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) located in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.  ORR provides...

    A refugee is a person outside of his or her own country and unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (ORR, 2007b).  Refugees are fleeing their homes as a result of violent conflict or other disruption.  Some spend many long years in refugee camps, cut off from normal life, and they may experience physical hardship and psychological trauma (IRC).

    It is the historic policy of the United States to admit to this country refugees of special humanitarian concern, reflecting our core values and our tradition of being a safe haven for the oppressed (ORR, 2007c).  Thus, refugees who are resettled in the United States are given legal immigration status. Furthermore, because they often lack the basic foundation to rebuild their lives in the United States, they are assisted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) located in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.  ORR provides refugees with cash and medical assistance and social services including employment services for a time-limited period.  This type of assistance, which is not provided to all immigrants, is designed to enable refugees to become employed and economically self-sufficient as soon as possible after their arrival and to support their social integration in this country (ORR, 2007d).

    Since 1975, the U.S. has settled 2.6 million refugees (ORR, 2008b) Numbers declined immediately following the 9/11 attacks; anti-terrorism legislation contributed to these declines.  In 2006, 41,150  persons were admitted as refugees and 26,113 were granted asylum, and in 2007, 48, 217 refugees were admitted and 25,270 asylees were granted asylum (U.S.DHS, 2006, 2007, 2008).

    ORR reports that the economic adjustment of refugees has been a relatively successful and generally rapid process.  The purpose of this exploratory study was to learn what factors and approaches contribute to refugee economic self-sufficiency and to ORR’s success in getting refugees employed.  Qualitative methods were used to obtain information for this study that included a literature review, discussions with a small convenience sample of ORR federal staff and resettlement program providers, attendance at ORR workshops, and a site visit.  Findings from the major sections of this report are summarized below. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hein, Maria L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) began funding Individual Development Account (IDA) programs for low-income refugees in October 1999. The objectives of ORR’s IDA program are: 1) "to promote the participation of refugees in the financial institutions of this country;" and 2) "to assist refugees in purchasing assets to promote their economic self-sufficiency."

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement’s IDA program, as described in the 1999 Program Announcement (Federal Register, June, 9, 1999), is designed to help participants to purchase assets, as a means of increasing their financial independence. Program participants receive financial literacy training and have the opportunity to open a matched savings account. IDA program participants must save toward one of the following savings goals:

    • Homeownership or renovation;
    • Microenterprise capitalization;
    • Post-secondary education;
    • Vocational training or recertification;
    • Automobile purchase (if needed to maintain or upgrade employment)
    • Computer purchase (for one’s...

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) began funding Individual Development Account (IDA) programs for low-income refugees in October 1999. The objectives of ORR’s IDA program are: 1) "to promote the participation of refugees in the financial institutions of this country;" and 2) "to assist refugees in purchasing assets to promote their economic self-sufficiency."

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement’s IDA program, as described in the 1999 Program Announcement (Federal Register, June, 9, 1999), is designed to help participants to purchase assets, as a means of increasing their financial independence. Program participants receive financial literacy training and have the opportunity to open a matched savings account. IDA program participants must save toward one of the following savings goals:

    • Homeownership or renovation;
    • Microenterprise capitalization;
    • Post-secondary education;
    • Vocational training or recertification;
    • Automobile purchase (if needed to maintain or upgrade employment)
    • Computer purchase (for one’s education or microenterprise).

    At the time that funds are withdrawn for a qualifying asset purchase, the withdrawals are matched. Some of ORR’s IDA program grantees offer a 1:1 match (i.e., in these programs, an individual participant can have a maximum of $4,000 of their savings matched, receiving a $4,000 match, for a total of $8,000 toward their asset purchase). The remainder offer a 2:1 match (i.e., in these programs, an individual participant can have a maximum of $2,000 of their savings matched, receiving a $4,000 match, for a total of $6,000 toward their asset purchase).

    In order to qualify for ORR’s IDA program, a refugee (see footnote 1) must:

    • Have earned income
    • Have a household earned income that does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level (at the time of program enrollment)
    • Have assets that do not exceed $10,000 (at the time of enrollment), excluding the value of a primary residence.

    (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Paulson, Anna; Singer, Audrey; Newberger, Robin; Smith, Jeremy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Financial access--knowing what one's financial options are and having products and services to choose from--is closely linked to economic prosperity. The success of today's immigrants--who come to the United States largely seeking to improve their own prospects for prosperity--depends on their access to mainstream financial institutions that can help them save money, buy homes, access credit, start businesses, and otherwise build wealth. As immigrant settlement has become a widespread phenomenon across the United States, more communities are concerned with the prospects for their full social and economic integration. Strategies that help immigrants participate fully in the financial mainstream benefit not just immigrants, but all residents of the communities where they live. This monograph presents new research on the financial practices of immigrants, and describes both industry approaches to reaching the immigrant market and community innovations in moving immigrants into the financial mainstream. (author abstract)

    Financial access--knowing what one's financial options are and having products and services to choose from--is closely linked to economic prosperity. The success of today's immigrants--who come to the United States largely seeking to improve their own prospects for prosperity--depends on their access to mainstream financial institutions that can help them save money, buy homes, access credit, start businesses, and otherwise build wealth. As immigrant settlement has become a widespread phenomenon across the United States, more communities are concerned with the prospects for their full social and economic integration. Strategies that help immigrants participate fully in the financial mainstream benefit not just immigrants, but all residents of the communities where they live. This monograph presents new research on the financial practices of immigrants, and describes both industry approaches to reaching the immigrant market and community innovations in moving immigrants into the financial mainstream. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wrigley-Spruck, Heide; Richer, Elise; Martinson, Karin; Kubo, Hitomi; Strawn, Julie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Adults who have limited English skills, usually immigrants or refugees, often face poor labor market prospects. The number of such individuals in the U.S. workforce has grown dramatically over the past decade—accounting for nearly half of all workforce growth—yet the workforce development implications of this growth have received scant attention. Current resources for language and job training services are dwarfed by the need. Moreover, few programs focus on providing the nexus of language, cultural, and specific job skills that are key to helping low-income adults with limited English skills increase their wages and economic status—and to helping our nation’s economy grow. More help is urgently needed. Virtually all of our nation’s new workforce growth for the foreseeable future will come from immigration, so failure to assist immigrants in improving their language and job skills is likely to hurt workforce productivity over the long term. Other key national priorities, such as meeting high educational standards in our public schools and helping welfare recipients move toward...

    Adults who have limited English skills, usually immigrants or refugees, often face poor labor market prospects. The number of such individuals in the U.S. workforce has grown dramatically over the past decade—accounting for nearly half of all workforce growth—yet the workforce development implications of this growth have received scant attention. Current resources for language and job training services are dwarfed by the need. Moreover, few programs focus on providing the nexus of language, cultural, and specific job skills that are key to helping low-income adults with limited English skills increase their wages and economic status—and to helping our nation’s economy grow. More help is urgently needed. Virtually all of our nation’s new workforce growth for the foreseeable future will come from immigration, so failure to assist immigrants in improving their language and job skills is likely to hurt workforce productivity over the long term. Other key national priorities, such as meeting high educational standards in our public schools and helping welfare recipients move toward economic self-sufficiency, also depend on expanding opportunities for individuals with limited English skills and helping them gain the skills they need to get ahead economically and socially. (author abstract)

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