CT Institute for Communities

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Governor’s Non-Profit Grant Program

Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants

December 2017

For 100 years, the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI), formerly the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN), has built a legacy of leadership, compassionate service and effective advocacy for immigrants, refugees and survivors of human trafficking and torture. CIRI has consistently remained true to the agency’s mission to serve and empower new Americans to thrive in Connecticut. The Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants strengthens lives and our communities, demonstrates resilience in meeting the evolving needs of generations of immigrants into Connecticut, and has an enduring presence in the community.

CIRI envisions Connecticut as a place where new Americans may fully participate in our culturally diverse communities, where low-income families may have access to affordable immigration services and be reunited with family, where survivors of crime and persecution may have the resources needed to become self-supporting and healed and where ethnic diversity is valued as a cultural and economic strength by all.  

In 2015 CIRI received funding through the Governor’s Non-Profit Grant Program to help further its mission by addressing the strategic goal to “improve infrastructure and administrative support capabilities to better support CIRI’s programs and people served.” The grant supplemented unrestricted funds to implement its Technology Improvement Project. The project included: updating hardware (laptops), engaging appropriate I/T support improve staff productivity with up-to-date technology, and rolling out a new client management software system to increase its capacity to collect and disseminate client data. Additionally, the project improved case coordination among CIRI’s programs, increased tracking of collaborative efforts with other non-profit agencies, and resulted in better outcomes for clients.

The funding provided through the NGP continues to have a positive impact on CIRI’s capacity to deliver its mission. The software system, Apricot, a well-known non-profit case management system, is the primary tool for client data collection, integrated case management, and reporting. As CIRI navigates expansion of services, diversification of funding sources, ever changing federal regulations and relationships with partner organizations, Apricot has allow CIRI to adapt seamlessly and continue to improve our data management.  The new laptops and upgrades to I/T infrastructure has also reduced issues encountered with computer hardware and electronic communications.

The following demonstrates the positive impact of the Governor’s NGP on CIRI Operations:

Claudia Connor, CIRI’s President and CEO, leads the agency in delivering its mission and implementing its strategic goals in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. This includes raising private funds, engaging community providers, and collaborating with local, state and national and international entities to further CIRI’s mission. Reliable communication and data management systems are paramount to ensuring that CIRI remains an effectual and influential organization


Alicia Kinsman, Director of Immigration Legal Services, is a recognized and sought after expert in her field. Alicia leads a team of attorneys and Department of Justice certified legal representatives providing low-bono legal services that seek justice for individuals and keep families together. Her team trains and educates law enforcement, attorneys and other providers on topics related to immigration, human trafficking and torture. Alicia’s computer is “mission control” for her program.


Agnes Farkas, a Refugee Case Manager at CIRI, is responsible for welcoming and settling refugees in the community. Agnes utilizes the Apricot case management software to ensure that her clients are receiving comprehensive services as they work towards self-sufficiency. The software allows Agnes to coordinate service delivery with her internal and external colleagues and to maintain compliance with myriad of federal guidelines.