New American Pathways is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created on October 1, 2014, by the merger of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA) and Refugee Family Services (RFS). Prior to the merger, RRISA and RFS shared a deep legacy of service to the refugee community in metro Atlanta. For more than two decades, the organizations provided complementary services ranging from initial resettlement to literacy, employment, youth education and school services, and immigration and citizenship assistance.
Founded in 1977 as part the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2002, RRISA’s direct service programs (resettlement, employment, education and youth, and immigration) focused heavily on the immediate needs of refugees during their first 180 days in the United States.
RFS, which was introduced in Atlanta in 1994 as a program of Save the Children and became a 501(c)(3) in 1997, had an emphasis on longer-term needs and included programs aimed at women, youth and civic engagement.
As each organization began to consider ways to better serve Georgia’s vulnerable refugee population, the inspiration for a more formal partnership emerged. In December 2012, with support from The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, RRISA and RFS embarked on a thorough and deliberate two-year evaluation process to explore partnership options. This process culminated in the decision to form a single organization that would improve the quality of service and deliver comprehensive services more efficiently under a single roof.
Together as one stronger organization, New American Pathways provides approximately 5,000 refugees per year with the necessary tools to rebuild their lives and achieve long-term success. Our specially designed programs provide proven pathways for refugees and other immigrants to realize their full potential and dreams while becoming productive, contributing members of Georgia’s communities.