“To assist individuals in becoming self-sufficient, self-fulfilled and productive members of the community while fostering cultural preservation and promoting cross cultural understanding.”
The Fresno Center (TFC), formerly knowns as Fresno Center for New Americans (FCNA), was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1991, 501 ( c ) (3) status, to provide services to the growing needs of Southeast Asian refugees (Cambodians, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese) in Fresno County. These immediate services included education, employment linking services, social integration, health education, and housing, Refugees from many parts of the world also accessed our services. Through our Russian speaking staff members and on-call workers, we have been able to provide services to Russian, Somalis, and Middle Eastern refugees.
Through transition and strategic planning, TFC grew from a staff of three to a 43 staff organization at the height of newly arriving Hmong refugees in 2004-2005. TFC was the lead organization in establishing the Hmong Resettlement Task Force in partnerships with other local ethnic agencies, elected officials, and government service providers including the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. The number of staff members has fluctuated based on funding and project timelines. However, TFC has consistently provided core services in mental health, education, advocacy, employment services, and civic engagement.
TFC’s founder and first Executive Director was Dr. Tony Vang. Our first operating office was in downtown Fresno with the space donated from Fresno County Office of Education. Lue N. Yang assumed the Executive Director position in 1992 after Dr .Vang resigned to take on a teaching post at CSU, Stanislaus.
Shortly thereafter, TFC relocated to Mariposa Mall, renting office space in the Fresno County EOC building. In 1995, The Fresno Center moved to its current location and merged with the Refugee Resource Center with TFC assuming responsibility over all remaining projects and carrying the name TFC.
The Fresno Center is proactive and values partnerships with health professionals, educational institutions, elected officials, public service providers, and private foundations. One such notable relationship is our collaborative research on Hmong health in the Central Valley with Dr. Peter Kunstadter of UC San Francisco. TFC has been consistently funded by Fresno County to provide refugee and employment services based on its linguistic and cultural competency. Private foundations have selected TFC as a local grantee to deliver health education, civic services, advocacy, and leadership development.
TFC is highly sought for its cross-cultural expertise in the areas of health, law, and social integration. The organization continues to provide services in employment, citizenship, leadership, networking, mental health, research, and advocacy. These services serve as the foundation of the organization as we transition refugees to become new Americans. TFC will continue to evolve to address the changing needs of new Americans through civic engagement, voting registration, and personal empowerment.