Multicultural Self-Sufficiency Movement (formerly known as My Service Mind of Northwest) was founded in 1994 with the mission to provide paths to self-sufficiency for immigrants and refugees in the Puget Sound area, which includes south King and Pierce Counties.
Mandy Ma, executive director of MSM, founded the agency with a focus on paths to self-sufficiency because, as a first generation immigrant herself, she experienced firsthand difficulties and challenges in becoming economically self-sufficient, accumulating capital, and securing employment resources in a new country and culture.
More importantly, Ms. Ma recognized that there were limited services and programs focused on the goal of self sufficiency that were culturally and linguistically appropriate, and targeting new Americans such as herself.
MSM provides comprehensive self-sufficiency programs and services, and complementary supportive social services. When MSM first began, we focused on education programs that enhanced the acculturation and integration of immigrants and refugees into the mainstream, including naturalization and English as a Second Language. In late 1990’s we began incorporating employment services to assist clients in securing a job and in achieving wage progression with the opening of the new Intel facility in Dupont, Washington.
In mid-2000, MSM grew once again to include economic development services. We has been providing one-on-one coaching service on how to "start a business in Washington State", free income tax services, and free legal clinics.
History has shown that immigrants and refugees have diverse skills, talents, and a strong drive to succeed that make them ideally suited to microenterprise and small business development. In 2010, MSM began offerings micro/small business development workshops.
MSM recognizes that a successful "Paths to Self-Sufficiency" requires more than education, employment, and economic development. Hence, we have decided early in our organizational development to balance “self-sufficiency” programs with comprehensive case management and supportive services to remove barriers to obtaining and maintaining a job, securing financial stability, and stable family life.