Hmong community opens new center for elders

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Hmoob Kaj Siab celebrated the grand opening of its new community center after the former one closed.

It's a place for Hmong, Cambodia, and Laotian elders to enjoy many different amenities, such as a kitchen to cook in and a gym to exercise in.

A focus of the center is to provide mental health counseling with a specialization in refugee and trauma-informed services.

The CEO of the Hmong Institute, Peng Her, says it was crucial for them to find a new location.

"We wanted to make sure there were no gaps in service for the Hmong elders," said Her.

"It's really working with elders whether they are Hmong or Camai Cambodian who suffer through a war and many of them having post traumatic stress syndrome," said Her. "Refugee and trauma informed mental health is really addressing some of their needs."

Her says there are around 6,000 Hmong elders in Dane County and many of them are trying to find ways to connect in the Madison area.

"This gives them the opportunity to get out into the real world, to experience the real world so they can better navigate the community they live in," Her said.