Roanoke program to provide interpreters to serve refugees, immigrants who are crime victims

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Roanoke leaders hope to help people in its diverse community get the services they need.

A partnership announced Tuesday will provide interpreters and counseling to refugees and immigrants who may be victims of a crime.

Family Service of Roanoke Valley officials said the goal of the initiative is to help refugees, immigrants and others who speak limited English gain access to counseling and services. The partnership also includes TAP, Salvation Army's Turning Point and Sexual Assault Response and Awareness (SARA). Organizers hope to be able to better assist people with issues like mental health concerns or domestic violence.

Roanoke-based company, VOLATIA, is a network of interpreters and translators that will help provide interpreters to those who may need it.

"If you had an appointment where you need to be able to communicate with an individual who does not speak English, or who is deaf, or hard or hearing, you would need an on-site interpreter," said Baraka Kasongo, CEO VOLATIA.

Organizers said the Roanoke Valley will receive more than $280,000 in grant money of the next year to help with the program

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