BRIDGE – Community Health & Development

BRIDGE Program

AYCO health care and disability services aim to BRIDGE the gaps in services experienced by new immigrants. The staff provide knowledgeable guidance through health care and disability resources, with understanding of the language and culture of those seeking this support.

Upcoming Events

Community Engagement

Our Community Engagement team leads our efforts in informing, preparing, and providing for community members during these complicated times. We offer integration support for families guided by the community, reflecting the immediate concerns, reality, and existing capacity of these communities. Family support is rooted in shared experience and community building. Our Community Health & Development departments work together to provide health clinics, healthcare assistance, and referral for community members, with additional services focused on serving those who experience disability. Our Community Engagement team works with parents and families to provide translation services, wrap-around supports, emergency assistance, parent and group workshops, educational opportunities, and more.

Health Care and Disability Support

  • Assistance navigating complicated healthcare systems, insurance, treatment plans, unfamiliar healthcare procedures and expectations, forms and assessments.
  • Assistance navigating and accessing complicated disability resources.
  • Support families in understanding the needs, challenges and strengths of family members who have disabilities.
  • Referral to appropriate supports and services, and advocacy when these services are limited in their capacity to understand the linguistic and cultural perspectives of patients/clients.
  • Assessment of East African immigrant families who are struggling to address complex healthcare concerns and/or disabilities. AYCO staff thoughtfully engage referred patients in an assessment that seeks understanding of culture related concerns that may surface with a culturally and linguistically familiar contact. A two-way exchange enhances cultural understanding in healthcare settings as well as family understanding of complex healthcare systems.

Halima Alinur Community Health Manager


Jamshid Shams Community Engagement, Nutrition Navigator


Amalda Community Engagement Manager


Faysal Ibrahim Community Engagement Coordinator

VOCA - Victim of Crime Advocates

llaalinta Xaquuqda Shacakba, "Guarding the Rights of the People," is a victim advocacy program developed for immigrant and refugee populations of the African Diaspora. This project is designed to cater to the overwhelming demand for culturally specific victim services for immigrants and refugees who are survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, hate crimes, and gang violence. Following months of workshops, data collection, surveys, and one-on-one interviews, it is evident that our community suffers from trauma pertaining to their experience as immigrants associated with not only the challenges faced in their home countries but also as minorities in a dominant culture society. Crime survivors in our communities deserve culturally specific victim advocates. Our program has proven that culturally specific services increase victim access to advocacy programs.

Culturally Specific Services

Immigrants and refugees face countless barriers when navigating the criminal and civil justice systems. Lack of cultural competence in agencies, language barriers, and a lack of trust and confidence in the system are just a few of the things our community members face. Our victim advocacy program addresses these barriers and aims to bridge the gap in victim advocacy services. All of our advocates speak more than one language and are highly qualified to address cultural needs.


“This program helped me a lot. Thank you for all that you do for us. Without the support of the advocates at AYCO, I don’t think I would have been able to resolve my case or seek any justice for myself or my family. I am very pleased with the services I received.”

“Hinda and Mohammed were so helpful as interpreters. We don’t understand this legal system and the English language, and it was great to have people who know us and our culture explain.”


Sahlan Farah Crime Victim Advocate Coordinator

Youth Violence Prevention Program

Youth Violence Prevention (YVP) Advocates work with at-risk youth to provide the additional support they need to inhibit gang involvement and violent activity. YVP offers academic support, one-on-one and small group mentoring, extracurricular sports and activities, youth leadership, environmental education, internships, and more. In addition, the YVP Advocates work closely with schools on a higher level to advocate for system change and address disproportionate disciplinary measures taken against Somali students.

BRIDGE Funders

Thank you to all of our partners and funders of our BRIDGE Services and Programs.

  • Community Health Workers( Community Engagement) - Oregon Health Authority (OHA)
  • VOCA+ Youth Prevention Advocate - Department of Justice (DOJ), Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC), OHA
  • Economic Development - Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT)
  • Housing Support - Innovative Housing Inc. (IHI)
  • Afghan/ IE Family support - DHS