Lutheran Social Services

James Gordon / Wikimedia Commons

After nearly three decades of resettling refugees, the World Relief organization’s last office in Florida is set to close its doors in Jacksonville at the end of this month. 

Abukar Adan / WJCT-News

The number of refugees who have resettled in Duval County has declined by more than 75% since the Trump Administration’s changes to the refugee resettlement policy. 

Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Fraternal Order of Police local 530 President Steve Zoma about the proposed use of body cameras by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. We also spoke with Melody Perry from Lutheran Social Services and caregiver Nakia Hinton about their Money Minders program and 5 and Dime Theatre Executive Director Lee Hambly talked about the theatre’s new location and the upcoming performance of the play “Night Mother.” 

It’s Election Day. We spoke to St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Oakes about what voters need to know as they head to the polls. We also spoke with WJCT reporter Ryan Benk about a story he broke about racial discrimination charges filed by five employees at JEA. First Coast Connect Book Club blogger Stacey Goldring joined us for this month’s segment, and Lutheran Social Services President and CEO Mary Strickland talked about this weekend’s RedTie Affair fundraiser to benefit local children affected by HIV and AIDS.  


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville is the primary hub for refugees entering Florida through the U.S. Department of State program.

Many River City natives aren’t aware how hard it can be for their new neighbors to adapt to life on the First Coast.

A University of North Florida professor is aiming to change that by getting her students to walk a mile in a refugee’s shoes.

Lutheran Social Services

Low-income Jacksonville residents are invited to get free food and learn about social services Friday morning. 

Allie George

Cold Cases

Duval County has more than 1,200 unsolved murders dating back to 1970, but no statewide data is available.

Now advocates from the Jacksonville group Project: Cold Case hope their new online database will help find justice for these many forgotten victims.

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Voice of America / Wikimedia Commons

Refugees hoping to resettle in Florida could have to submit to an extra round of background checks if one Jacksonville lawmaker has his way.

Rep. Lake Ray (R-Jacksonville) has filed a bill requiring resettlement organizations to report more about who’s coming in.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

A local Thanksgiving tradition that has attracted thousands of Jacksonville families in need over the last four years won’t happen this year, organizers say.

GlobalJax Profile: Jo Jo Lusambo

Apr 1, 2014

Jo Jo Lusambo is a former Congolese refugee who is paying it forward today on the First Coast.

Lutheran Services Florida

Tampa-based Lutheran Services Florida, or LSF, has been awarded a $18 million grant to manage Duval County’s Head Start program.