Elation can give way to fear, frustration and anger for many who come to the United States after fleeing from war-torn, troubled nations.

Elation can give way to fear, frustration and anger for many who come to the United States after fleeing from war-torn, troubled nations.

Reality sets in: This isn't going to be easy, after all.

Angela K. Plummer, executive director of Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), has seen it time and time again.

But then, at about the one-year mark, when they can apply for a green card in order to be able to stay in this country, the person who fled the violence in Somalia, religious persecution in Nepal or grinding poverty in Mexico more often than not has a completely different outlook on life, Plummer said last week.

"To see them at the year marker is just amazing," she said. "They have that sense of: I know how things work, I know what to expect, I know where my food is going to come from."

Community Refugee and Immigration Services, with offices on Bexvie Avenue on the East Side and Sinclair Road in the Northland area, has become involved in a project launched recently by the Northland Alliance to help resurrect the Beaumont neighborhood south and east of what is now Northland Village.

Beginning with a Feb. 16 organizational meeting to perhaps resurrect a civic association for the neighborhood, the nonprofit organizations Northland Alliance chairwoman Joyce Bourgault has brought together hope to find out from residents of the Beaumont area what kind of improvements they want to see in their neighborhood.

Beaumont began as a single-family subdivision in the 1950s but subsequently saw inexpensive apartment complexes develop.

Officials with CRIS hope their many clients who call the Beaumont area home will be part of that revitalization effort, although both Plummer and employment counselor Drew Robertson have conceded that many of the Somali, Bhutanese, Iraqi and Hispanic refugees who live in the neighborhood now don't currently plan to stay very long. CRIS personnel have helped these immigrants find housing in the Beaumont apartment buildings because it's affordable and these are some of the few places people without jobs, employment history or a history of paying rent are accepted.

"We're sort of limited to the few landlords who will work with us," Plummer said.

Bhutanese refugees, forced in some instances to flee religious and ethnic persecution in Nepal more than 20 years ago, have been coming to the Columbus area for the past few years; a large portion have settled in two of the Beaumont neighborhood apartment complexes, according to Robertson.

Friction has occasionally arisen between the Bhutanese and African Americans living in those and nearby apartment buildings. A police-involved shooting at the 604-unit Breckenridge Apartments on Shanley Drive on Aug. 24 was initially attributed to racial tensions, but subsequently turned out to be the result of an attempted robbery of one of the Bhutanese.

That incident, according to Plummer, served to highlight just how much the newcomers in the Beaumont area can benefit from a "neighborhood approach to solving problems." It also served to get city officials and others involved in dealing with refugee issues in the neighborhood, she said.

Still, getting people who left behind repressive regimes in Nepal and Somalia to turn to the police for help with crime problems won't be easy, Plummer suggested.

"So many refugees have come from a place where the police were to be feared," she said. "A simple word from us, 'You can trust these guys,' is not going to do it."

Plummer, an attorney who first began volunteering with CRIS in 1998, believes the Beaumont area and her nonprofit organization's clients can benefit from these attentions.

"A neighborhood-strengthening is at the top of the list," Plummer said.

She added that she hopes community leaders will emerge from each of the refugee-dominated apartment complexes to participate in the neighborhood-strengthening efforts of reforming the Beaumont Civic Association.

"I think they have an amazing capacity to understand organizing," Plummer said. "They themselves organized in the (resettlement) camps to get services."

While some refugees have been insular, preferring to stay within their own communities, others are isolated by a language barrier, Plummer indicated.

The organizational meeting to gauge interest in restarting the Beaumont Civic Association will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the community room of Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center, 4340 Tamarack Blvd.