Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association, Inc. (ECAHMAA) was established in 1982 as a non-profit organization (501)(c)(3) to provide services for Southeast Asian refugees. The ECAHMAA is funded by federal, state, city, local grants and contributions from sponsors. It is also a partner agency of the United Way of Greater Chippewa Valley. The ECAHMAA is committed to pursuing innovative funding ideas and new financial partnerships. Community support can come in the form of volunteer efforts, food or material donations, as well as financial contributions.
The Hmong began arriving in the United States after 1976. Although America offered safety from the threat of communist persecution, life in a new country was not without its challenges. ECAHMAA was established to help Hmong families and individuals overcome cultural shock, language barriers, lack of education, and lack of job skills in the Greater Chippewa Valley Area. These issues are relevant for both recently arrived refugees and established residents. For the past four decades ECAHMAA has been sensitive to the needs of both groups within the Hmong community.
Since ECAHMAA started, the Hmong population has grown to over 3,000 in the City of Eau Claire making it the largest minority group in the area. Hmong refugees in the Eau Claire area have adjusted to an urban and highly technological lifestyle.
ECAHMAA is committed to empowering Chippewa Valley Hmong-Americans to become socially and economically self-sufficient. Founded in 1982, it is the only agency in the area specializing in providing services tailored to Hmong cultural and linguistic needs. Through its services, ECAHMAA has provided Hmong-Americans with access to housing, health care, career, educational opportunities and victim advocacy.